The Great Thing About A Hypothetical Self

It’s a cosmopolitan sky
For now, a boat is moored
The lips of the wharf kissing its side
All the while I’m thinking this in lieu of you:

When I’m pressing my face in your welcome mat
Your neighbour licks a light post
She says it tastes like exhaust fumes whisked in
With pancakes & honey –
                                        (I’m none the wiser)

I sit all day, asking myself
Is this it?
Cigarettes and muesli don’t amount to much
That’s the great thing about a hypothetical self
Courageously he runs out in the drops
Of milieu, feeding your addiction

& you, the beggar, plead hopelessly for more
Salvaging every lampshade and cupboard
From the side of the road –

It’s chuck-out week & your youth punishes you like a milkless fridge

Poem by James P. Quinton

Thanks to Westerly, 2002


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