Syrup

 

pancakes-2105187_1920

 

Check the in room dining menu.

Something sweet.

I’m in the mood for something sweet.

French toast maybe.

Champagne with a strawberry in it.

Or pancakes with syrup.

I’ll call down.

I’ll pay.

My treat.

This time.

It’ll be my treat.

 

*

 

A diner like in Nighthawks,

that painting by Edward Hopper.

A couple together alone

and a barman in a hat,

cleaning glasses.

Red vinyl.

Blue neon.

Nothing sweet.

Black coffee and cigarettes.

That’s what I feel like.

You pay.

Or rather put it on the tab.

 

*

 

The cab is late

and smells of late night food, even though it is morning.

The driver, he doesn’t look like me.

His name is Bahram.

He has had a hard life, I can tell

but talks only of sweet things – disco music, which he likes

and a kind of taffy, you can’t get it here.

Not like he used to have.

Before the boat.

Before me, and everybody else like me

rushing, red-eyed, to get away

from nothing in particular.

 

*

 

Home.

Sweet.

Home.

Just as we left it,

like in that poem by Larkin:

so sad,

‘A joyous shot at how things ought to be,

long fallen wide.’

A cigarette then,

or else something to eat,

something small,

a homecoming treat.

But there’s no milk

nor anything sweet.

A cigarette then,

out on the porch,

where the cat has found a sunbeam,

falling between shadow.

‘Bring me,’ you say,

‘bring me…’

But I do not think you know what you want.

Except to pat the cat

who has been yours for fifteen years

and I for just five, nearly six.

 

*

 

Something sweet.

I’m in the mood for something sweet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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