and in bright morning

Jenny’s alarm clock stabs my attic
it’s 6:30 on a frost-fern window
Saturday morning
in coal-house January 73
I’m jerked awake cold, bleary 
my teeth are crumbling.
the bandage on a septic sore
is leaking pus from a red line
from armpit to fingertip 
others spread feet to groin
last month’s
last week’s
last night’s whizz
is fast eroding me 
I need to get high
I need bombers
I need a smoke
I need coffee
I need Jenny gone
she mustn’t see me
Jenny peels from the bed
steps around bottles and ashtrays and
taking fresh clothes from an overnight case
meticulously dresses for work
she brushes her hair
a touch of make-up
checks her stockings are straight
and without turning to me
or kissing my cheek, says,
“this is it, Ricky, I’m not coming back.”
the door clicks shut
she creeps the stairs
I should have pleaded,
“don’t go – I’ll change.”
I saved my breath
she knew I wouldn’t change
I knew I couldn’t change
and simple words that alter lives
create lives and deny other lives
a chance of being
remained unsaid
I rooted in drawers for pills
swallowed a handful blind
crawled to the bed
and passed right out
Jenny crept in while
I was ‘out’
her clothes
her clock
her scented candles
statue of Buddha
and left her key behind
in the tear splashed envelope
of a ‘Goodbye Ricky’ note
I always intended to read 
we were lovers before I knew how to love,
together for a spell but only a spell –
the Weaver of Lovers
buggered the timing –
winter streets were mean in 73
friends died like flies
day and night cut down
by cold
and high strength ‘brown’
I saw Jenny arm in arm
with her brand new fellah
boring bastard Peter
she could not see me
hawking blood
behind a boarded window
decades later we met again,
became pen pals
distanced by sickness
and circumstance
I wonder if she realised
I haloed her room with constant prayer
as she lay dying…
now she hovers off-stage
a soft glowing presence
in my life’s wings
when I step into the Brightness
and meet again face to face 
angels will shower us
with petals of roses
and for the briefest moment
that will last forever
we will converse again.

© coolhermit 2023
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