STAR POems: Southsea, 1985

At 2 a.m. I saw her –

She hung her body like meat

in the entrance to the pier

– that pleasure palace.


She’s haloed by a streetlamp

opposite Peggy Sue’s.

She takes my hand and draws me

beneath the pier.


The sea folds back on herself

like money.

I hear the murmur of

her business as my pleasure.


She doesn’t take long.

I don’t take long.  But long enough.

Police lights wink through underworld

strut work and I’m running

over sliding shale.


– Just one more pissed up fantasy as I

stood beside the club eyeing

the laughing girl by the van,

Excuse me officer, has anyone handed in my sobriety?

I lost it somewhere earlier this evening.

Perhaps it’s with my umbrella

which also I have lost …?


– Yeah, all right, move along.

Do you want me to nick you, or what?


Sometimes, when the dark wave sounds

like thunder beneath the pier

and I swing at oncoming revellers

I think

even that contact

would be enough.


Matt Wingett