I lost my soul in the quarter mile from Foyles to Jerry’s
or maybe it was Jerry’s to Foyle’s
and what I lost was my mind.
His name was Adam
or maybe I only call him that
because he was my first man
and he told me let’s take some of this and we’ll get caned.
It was the way his T-shirt stayed angel-white in the citygrub
and the way his tattoo moved but his teeth stayed still when he smiled
that pulled me across the street
or maybe it was some wet-sheeted memory
he drew to him that sticky six o’clock
like a cloud of backflowed blood swilling round before the shot.
I would have studied at Cambridge
or maybe I wouldn’t
and that was the lie I told myself
because I knew I needed guilt
and neither the junk nor the ejaculations gave me any.
I lost my life somewhere by Bar Italia
or maybe someone found it
and put it to good use
or maybe they wasted it
and now I haunt the shelves of Foyles, perpetually browsing
or maybe I’m outside Jerry’s
and this absinthe in my blood is just too strong
or maybe it’s not strong enough
because I can’t stop thinking of Adam
or maybe I only call him that because he fell.


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