Another Little Piece of my Heart
Story of my life
The night porter yawned
busied his eyes with paperwork
ignoring the girl
I smuggled from the hotel
before first light.
The porter’s seen it all before.
Her cheeks are streaked with smudged mascara
she’s wearing last night’s silver hot pants
matching boob tube
no bra no underwear.
She said, ‘Since you tore them
you can keep the tights – no extra.’
I am dressed for autumn mornings:
Brown fedora wedged tight against the storm.
Yellow check ‘Nutwood’ scarf.
Harris Tweed overcoat.
A squall rips the umbrella from my grip
performing contorted cartwheels
back-flipping – whipping
it’s turned into
a flapping bamboo-handled
wounded mock ‘herring gull’
beach-dancing black against the sand
scuttling towards open water.
The woman shivers
unfolds her arms
takes a cigarette
lights it – draws deep
and with a raucous sea bird rattle
She has no eye for sea, sand
and umbrellas aping herring gulls
she turns her head
She knows an all-night cafe.
Her butterfly-tattooed legs are chapped
grapefruit dimpled and purple veined.
Those thighs and shaven pudendum
so precious last night when I buried my head
and feared I might never breathe again
are now a sour memory.
What is her name? She did tell me.
Maybe Amy? Shall I call to her,
‘Thanks for last night. See you later?’
I shout at the full-moon backside,
‘Hey, thanks for last night… see you around…
do it again sometime… Amy… maybe?’
She doesn’t look back
she lifts an arm as if to wave
flings a broken kitten heel
onto the beach and
stabs the sky with a single finger.
I take hold of rusted esplanade railings
filling my lungs with sea air
and a Marlboro Light.
A baton-twirling high-stepping cavalcade
of former lovers girlfriends
and short-term ‘others’
in majorette regalia
parades my imagination.
Each carried away a piece of my heart
an acorn to plant
to remember me by.
In the eye of private reverie
each seed flourishes
tall, lissom, vibrant, luscious
untouched by age, or weight
or ravaged by infirmity.
And now? And now?
watching a tortured umbrella
embraced by waves.