THOUGHTS FROM A BICYCLE

The sun sets at nine o’clock 

Squeezed between the railings

So tightly it might pop

 

I set off at four, 

Clattering past 

sun-stained houses, 

sustaining

Terraced attic rooms;

erratic wombs

For doleful adolescents

With melancholy bicycles,

melting in the tarmac.

 

At five the city blisters, 

A town really, with 

Salmon cheeks and red-brick sunsets

Dissolving Into your tongue

Like olive brine

 

Six years later, 

I cycle aimlessly 

The sun in my face 

Too bright to see 

Two legs for a compass 

Two wheels for my map

The pavements have forgotten me

And I am a stranger.

 

Seven,  

Softly swallow

All those songs

you thought were about love,

That were actually about romance

Between big bleached fringes 

And bicycle chains

Ties hanging loose

And afraid of change 

 

The tyres screech at 8:03 

The pedals whisper amongst themselves

Petty anecdotes, 

sodden memories 

About alleys 

we used to smoke in 

And the parks where we collapsed

And pubs and chip-shop ketchup 

and joints before assembly, 

Stow-on-the-wold,

cocaine-on-the-weekend.

forgettable, forgetting, forgotten. 

At nine With the sun 

I am undone like a top button.

My limbs are too long and my wrists poke out 

This blazer is too small for me 

The threading rips and the badges leap 

onto the curb

Where the tarmac swallows me up.