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.







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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