Our Last Walk
Under the shadow of that imposing grey mass of steel
and concrete, we make the drink filled promises of ill
thought out reunions, that never for a sober minute
would ever be considered rational.
Your fingers clamped to the cigarette papers, now slightly
aged and cracked, your wit now seems cut with the weakest
substitute, just like your powders; diluted beyond recognition
and you assumed we didn't notice.
That scar upon your left cheek that you would finger when
making a point, the bottle circulating next to your knee.
We would pray for an encompassing silence, to stifle the
fear drawn from your credulity.
The bruises left on rib cages like rain stained rose petals,
answered any question asked incorrectly, but we have now all
caught up with your withered expectations, but under this warming
sun now even your shadow looks old.
On that beach after last orders, the damp sand remaining
stable under our intoxicated feet. That smile of yours as
brittle as the shattered shells beneath our heels, the broken
homes of now long excluded occupants.
It had taken an age it seemed to reach this pinnacle, like a
gapping wound that was never stitched and left to turn septic.
I now bask the clichéd result that was promised for so many
decades and was now slowly delivered.
To seek an end seemed superfluous, to take advantage of
those Friday night vows which were welded together like
rusted chains, and to pass them through the loop of a paper
ring that tears at the first spot of rain.
We stagger up the concrete steps in cold, bare feet; your laugh
now as dark as the boarded-up shop fronts on the horizon. Any
light now completely absorbed, and as you move forward for
that last kiss, I stub my toe for the second time.
Jonathan Butcher has had poetry appear in a wide range of online and print publications, including: Electric Windmill Press, The Rusty Nail, Belleville Park Pages, Dead Beats, Underground Voices, Gutter Eloquence, Dead Snakes and others. His second chapbook 'Broken Slates' has been published by Flutter Press. He lives in Sheffield, England.
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