Poem by James Quinton

Our New House

Cold and sniffly, she writes down the street names
left, right here, left at boulevard B
by the time I looked up she had disappeared.
Lights with metals shade hang from wire
green ivy, like beer bellies burped out of buildings
she’s gone to collect the keys to our new house and will be an hour.
Propped up against an old cart, I am in charge
of our belongings: the Rothko postcards, clothes
and drawing tools, a bicycle, some books.
She would not allow it, and I wouldn’t tell
but for some reason I feel like leaving everything here
nicking off to a cafe for half an hour to test out our new neighbours.
Of course I’d return and everything would have vanished
I’d run around knowing they’d not gone far; racing by men
hocking and spitting in furnace grates, a dude
following a model car over cobbles, a glimpse
of a young goalie trapped mid air like a statue,
metal light shades, a waft from a bakery.
To turn around a corner and find two fine bums
struggling with my bike bag, dragging our stuff
into a vacant lot, full of leafless trees and shrubs.

And, after diplomacy fails, I’d have to kick their arse
and drag all our belongings back to the cart
after dragging their bodies into the bush
and return just in time to catch my breath
take a sip of juice and flip open a book.

So excited she unlocks the front door
and I have to drag our shit up six flights of stairs.


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