An Irish Pub
in the Waterloo Rd
 

As we sat there
hearts bleeding distractedly into the empty noise
an improbable couple not far away
were erecting the same castle on another foundation. 

The impossibility of going on,
as keenly felt as if it had been sexual,
imprinted on my mind the post-punk sailor girl, and her mama who had once been beautiful,
indelibly
like the Turin Shroud.

And when
after saying nothing,
there was nothing more to be said
and the man with taped-up glasses'd had a second port
I considered the problem of the illfitting wicket door beneath the bar,
quite forgetting that Id brought a photograph of...

But
Anyway, it was no longer relevant
funny tho, how the fruit-machine had a zero and a ten on it,
I pointed it out, 'an irish fruit machine' I said.
It was an Irish pub.

An irish pub in the Waterloo Road.
That was where it ended.
No more to be said about that:
What no longer exists cannot be described. 

So it was that the improbable couple left first:
he with the mousey appearance of a ticket clerk,
she, old and big enough to be his mother, a ticket collector perhaps?
both sure to find what had eluded us.

 12 xi 86

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