Ninety-Nine.

9/4/14.

Izzy circle

izzy

there’s a caravan in the middle of a field next to the train tracks
and it looks lonely but who am I to decide
this bus ride is a cliche of British countrysides
Scotland’s hills were harsher and more beautiful
England’s green rolls are like a pat on the head

there’s a guy at the bus station where I change over
with a jumper that says in big bold white letters,
‘gentleman by choice, rebel by fate’
I stink of travel and the heady swoon
of the Port Royals and Guinness I wrapped myself in.

traveling to Paris by bus, you told me,
delirious with sleep on the other side of the earth,
that you wouldn’t stand for it
that arriving by bus made no sense –
my cheap ticket an affront to romanticism
it’s true, the train’s much faster.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

Half a step to the left and I am thrown
Off from the earth and into the sky
Held at some strange jolted angle
Tossed like a ragdoll of bones
Time tinkers with itself, slows to a crawl
My placid brain burps out a thought:
‘That’ll be the mine, Reg’
And I chuckle at myself
Upended in blue.
So stretched are the seconds
That the fall, once it comes, barely winds me
I take stock of my limbs:
Two arms, one head, one leg –
I knew I forgot something!
Travel, eh? First the phone charger, now this!
And I’m laughing my arse off
Though it’s not sounding right
Note my neck’s not quite curled in the regular way
There’s mud in my eyes, the horizon’s all wonky
If only my gym teacher could see me now!
And there’s no-one about
Just the flies and mosquitoes and hissing of wind
And this dog. It’s come over
Loping like royalty, big black, shaggy face
Not like most of the mangy old shitbags you see
I try a ‘Hello, dog’ but only get bubbles
But it doesn’t seem to mind
Just sits near my head and fixes me with a stare
Doesn’t snuffle, doesn’t fidget, just sits and it stares
And I think ‘He’s here for me, then. He’ll take me on home.’
And I piss myself laughing
Or piss myself, at any rate
I’m choking with giggles
At the daftness of it all
With my leg all forgotten
And my neck all gone crooked
And this big regal dog with his eyes fixed on me
It’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen
There’s tears running down my face with the laughing
I think it’s the laughing
And the dog, he just waits
Like he’s seen it before
And I try for a ‘Good dog’
But it comes out as wet metal
And spittle and froth running down my chin
So I settle and I watch him
And he watches me
And I think
I really do
That we’re both in it for the long haul
Which, I’m starting to reckon
Is longer than I had initially anticipated
Quite a lot longer, in fact
And I look at the dog, like ‘So when do we leave?’
But he doesn’t say nothing
Just stares
Just waits
No nonsense
No fuss
He’s a good dog that one
A real good dog
And I take a big gulp of the dirt and the sky
If it’s waiting we’re doing
We’ll do it together
I’ve always wanted to see what comes next
And it’s good to have a friend on the road

*

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