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It’s funny, but I had never expected it to all feel quite like this. No, I mean it, but it’s funny, it really is. Funny. I had expected you to be taller, I suppose. I guess you get a lot of that… Ah well, if there was ever going to be a time that I would have liked to have been, I don’t know, witty I guess, this was probably it. I guess. But then, this all helps puts things into perspective. Yeah. Like, now it all seems that much more… or do I mean less. Well, it all goes into perspective, but that can get you all muddled as well, can’t it? Well you know what I mean anyway. I mean, you, of all people must have a pretty clear idea of what it’s like. I mean, if everything they say’s true, then that’s gotta make this a pretty special moment. By all accounts... But then, saying that, if everything they say is true, then that’s gonna leave a fair bit of confusion. Yeah. An awful lot of confusion. Mmm. I mean, that’d probably even manage to throw you. Eh? Don’t say much, do you? S’fair enough, I suppose. No reason as to why I should expect you to I s’pose. It’s fair enough.

Nice service, didn’t you think? Tasteful pause. I arranged most of it you know? ‘Specially when they sung Jerusalem. It’s brilliant that. Brilliant. That Fat Les bloke, brilliant; bringing real culture to the people like that. Know what I mean? Mind you, some nerve bringing her new bloke along don’t you think? And all tarted up like that. Bitch. Sorry, I shouldn’t be using that sort of language really, should I? But then I suppose you’re probably not too easily offended, are you, not if what people say’s… no.

‘Sfunny, I’d expected you to be more the, well the questioning type. I s’pose you get bored of all this after a while, don’t you. S’like anything. S’like me an’ Kath. It was brilliant at first. Brilliant. Everything about her made me want to… well, you know. It was brilliant. These skirts she used to wear. I never saw no-one wearing skirts made them look like she made them. It was like she wasn’t wearing skirts at all; it was like there was this brand new thing that some skirt designer ponce had come up with just for my Kath. Like this thing that used to be a skirt, but had kind of… evolved just for her. With my Kath around, all them other birds should’ve given up wearing skirts. Should’ve just given up…

I dunno what changed really. Well, I know part of it. She started wearing those legging things. You know, like all them old bifters down the shopping centre. Now I know it’ll sound silly, but I can’t be doing with those leggings. I think I told her. Yeah, like, “Kath, you know those legging things? Stop wearing them, love, they make you look like a right old bifter.” Something like that... Or it could have been slag, I don’t quite remember, but it was something like that. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Kath had wicked legs, wicked. I mean, Kath in a skirt was like this angel, I mean, she seemed to walk along a couple of inches off the ground. I mean, her legs were brilliant... It’s just that her arse… Well you know what I mean.

Anyway, Kath got all upset, and it started off this barney and, like, well they just kept on happening. She never did stop wearing those leggings, mind. Not that she was wearing them to the service. Oh no. Spiteful cow. All tarted up and dangling off Mr. Floppy-haired lover boy. Fuckin’ ponce.

Jerusalem was brilliant though wasn’t it? I suppose you must hear it quite a lot. ‘Specially with that Fat Les an’ that. Shame I couldn’t be there really. So where is it we’re going anyway?

Suit yourself. I’m just trying to be civil, you know. I mean, I know you must see a lot of people like me, but there’s no reason to

… Ok, I’ll shut up. Just thought you’d appreciate a little conversation, that’s all… ‘s no reason to…

Well you can’t blame me for being a bit edgy, what with what I’ve gone through. S’natural innit. I’m just a bit edgy, that’s all.

Don’t suppose you’ve seen my old man, have you? Only I’d like to see him again. He never liked Kath much. Said she was a cheap tart.

I miss her sometimes, you know. Even in those legging things.

Suppose it’s all a bit late now though isn’t it?

She wasn’t even crying


Buttery adagio light drips through
the berry-heavy pyracantha branches
where cardinals cautiously feast, their soft
chit-chit-chit of alarm a siren song
to Uno, stalking beneath, keenly unaware
that his albino fur flashes his presence
to the tasty twittermeats that pivot,
plié and flit from twig to fruit,
a scrumpy rumba for any feline.

Last year, I’d let him have his fun,
but Mom wept over every cracked egg;
I call him away from precious nestlings.
His prim savagery will be soothed
if I let him lick my ice cream spoon:
butter pecan from Gandy’s Dairy.
He’ll flee if I play Mom’s Verdi; E l’amore
lo lusinghi must be some kitty obscenity,
the opposite of Momma’s plain lullabies
as she rocked me asleep on the veranda
in the warm honeysuckle breezes.

Mom’s a brick of ash in a Baptist wall
and the nest I made stayed empty;
Uno’s happy to play the changeling,
curled, purring while I rock him in my lap
as the sun sinks in the red-feathered sky.



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