‘This life isn’t all hookers-and-blow, you know’
but even so one day a month you’d ease the car off
the boulevard, your u-turn describing a long slow arc
forgetting the pretence of work, the litter of scripts
on your passenger seat. Driving south
against the rush hour, the commute, as a salmon
might make its way, by force of will, upstream.
And so you headed out towards Tijuana.
I remember you saying you could order from a menu.
How the oiled girls lined up to meet-n-greet you.
But I could not tell you which part of yourself
you handed over as your Buick crawled across the border.
Or which part of yourself you left forever
with Tanya, Tracy-Mae, Encarnación or Estella.
from In The Flesh (Chatto & Windus, 2010), © Adam O’Riordan 2010, used by permission of the author.