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Here now, it’s hard to believe this place –
yellowed wallpaper, towels hung over
every decent lager except the guest –
is where we first met and that blur

of brilliance – a world from this pint
and the torn fabric of a duff pool table –
meant the next week, the next fortnight,
were the closest things ever get to simple.

So if this is how I know us, want us –
the two who clicked on an understanding
of close as close to sparseness, bluntness –
then that’s why, aware or drifting,

I’ve come to sit in this selfsame chair,
selfsame spot; listening to the traffic
which you must be a part of, somewhere,
pitched as it is among frantic and Orphic

while one by one the pigeons flutter off;
draining the glass and closing my book
as the lights click on, someone coughs,
and the place is good as lost, however I look.

Ben Wilkinson