He swaggers downstairs and stops
To see who might be looking, hesitates
And joins a group who loll against the wall;
Drags attention from a fag burn in the carpet
By dramatic adjusting of his shirt,
Then squats. "Got a fag?" he asks,
Grinning deliberately, willing them
One of them, to ask: "Where is she then?"
Only a slight exhalation indicates relief at being asked.
Slowly, he draws a breath,
Like the drumroll preceding the high wire act
And rolls his eyes.
"Upstairs y'know. Sortin' herself out."
And he smiles a lazy smile
And hooks his thumbs in belt loops,
Stage whispers, "First time y'know: hers, not mine of course."
And his audience lean back appreciatively.
"Where's that fag then? Gotta light?" Deep drag now.
"Well, yeah, bit of a slag, but a goer. Oh yeah! A real goer."
They are reeled in, staring and envious.
"Did you really?"
"Oh yeah, too right!"...
Into the basin
from Poems with Attitude (Hodder, 2000), copyright © Andrew Fusek Peters and Polly Peters 2000, used by permission of the authors and the publisher