Non-Starter (Non Fiction)
Respite from the winter
5 foot 4
Of sin, serendipity, and
A bar on the edge of Sloane Square;
Rain rolls down vintage Rovers and redbrick
Rain like constellations garnish
Paving slabs and parquet floors –
Beautiful part of town.
A man smiles at me and I
Grin foolishly and narrowly miss
Colliding with a
As I watch him walk away
My shoulders and feet are damp from rain
God I need a-
“Cocktail list, madam?”
The bartender hands me a
Catalogue and I pick
“A pink grapefruit G and T please, but with Cotswolds gin instead of Sipsmith?”
You enter the bar and stand to my left
You look how I feel.
And dump a long, cane umbrella and
Rain wrecked briefcase
Under the bar.
A nesting crow in a
Damp rain coat on the
Darkest day in December
Your cuff falls back to reveal a
Battered old Cartier on your wrist.
You are tall
Brown leather shoes
The waiter returns with my receipt
Just as the moment passes.
“Would you like to open a tab?”
You reach into your pocket and pull out a black slim leather wallet,
(Smythson I think)
glancing at me
“Alright Harry Potter?”
Smiling at you
You stand there fiddling uncomfortably with the edge of your glasses.
Then it happened
Waited 20-something years for this
A pat on the head and a BJ:
A sober man
Who looks capable of ironing his own shirts
Decided of his own accord to
Offer to buy me a drink
In the real world.
I turn my shoulder slightly so you
Get my phone out
And begin typing furiously under the bar
My French manicure slamming the screen at
“MARTYNA OMG SUPER HOT DAVID CAMERON TYPE BUYING ME COCKTAILS ON SLOANE SQUARE VERY CONSERVATIVE AND HAS A HARD ON THANK YOU FATHER CHRISTMAS HALLELUJAH!!!!!-“
I type –
(Not my most literary moment)
And press send.
Coolly, I turn to face you;
I suck on my Gin and Tonic and you tell me some things
None of which I think are lies;
You are a hotelier
You live in Cambridge
You used to think you were liberal but now you’re
Not so sure,
You have three children a grandchild and a dog named Casper
I tell you we shall have to get
Rid of the dog as I am a
You tell me Casper is a very sweet natured beast
Get out your phone to show me
Photos of a small
Black haired terrier
Running around on a beach with its tongue hanging out
“You fancy me because I look like your dog!?”
I ask in a mock-accusatory tone
Smiling at you.
“Who said I fancy you?”
“Well, don’t you?”
You swig your drink
You say you often holiday in the South of France or the Amalfi
Quit drinking 20 years ago so you’re having a soda and
Lime and many years ago
When you were living in the States
One of your
Looked just like me and
You like my shoes
(A six inch killer stiletto boot by Giuseppe Zanotti)
“But anyway Billie, what are you doing in here by yourself talking to an
Where is your boyfriend?”
I imagine sex with you
As a beautiful thing.
We are walking down Kings Road.
Have an umbrella
In one hand and my
Arse in t’other
Just before we reach The Botanist,
You bottle it,
And hail me a taxi,
“Have a safe journey home, Billie.”
I jump inside
Obediently and wave you
I watch you slowly disappear:
From a man
To a smudge in the distance,
To an unforgettable and
To a poem.
Martyna has text me back a series of smiley faces and love hearts and
“Tell me what’s happening?!!!”
I exhale and reply.