two thin throws

I wake in the dusty light
to the deepcity cockcrow
of traffic and stair-thumping
My bag’s by the wall
My boots are on the floor
My clothes are rumpled all over me
I’m lying under a coat
I found up the road
and two thin throws that I wouldn’t
call blankets

There’s empties on the coffee-table —
cheap beer and unlabelled wine
The damaged guitar I played last night
is propped in a corner
Half-done paintings
hang dim on the walls
A stereo without speakers
sits singing nothing

On the other couch,
the smaller one,
a tall man is sleeping
A gentleman to the last drink,
he wouldn’t let me give him
the bigger couch
He’s squashed up, half-folded,
head on one armrest,
legs over the other
His bag’s by the wall
His shoes are on the floor
His clothes are rumpled all over him
He’s lying under a coat
someone gave him
and two thin throws that I wouldn’t
call blankets

There’s only
three feet of air and two arguing housemates
my hand
and his shoulder

I go upstairs to the toilet,
come back and lie back down
But the light comes in the window
and the cars rush by outside
and my eyes and bones and heart
just will not go to sleep

The man dreams on,
grunting and stirring
Eventually he wakes
Rummages for his phone
to check the time
Drinks water and smokes a cigarette
while I make tea
which he refuses
Takes a piss
in the outside toilet
He needs a shower
and so do I
but neither of us have one
I splash cold water on my face
and try to fix my hair
We put on our coats and walk
to a coffee shop through morning streets
in the bright winter wind

There’s only
three feet of air and the whole fuckin’ world
my eyes
and his

(From lemon oil)