His Company

There is a city market.

Stalls full of smells and

Sounds and gewgaws

And so many people and so

Much not worth buying

And too much food to eat.

He stands against a wall

Eating a cheap, warm pie,

Trying to look sober,

Which he is not.

His buzz-cut hair

Is thinning but he

Doesn’t feel the chill in

The autumn air. He likes

The coolness, wears shorts

And tees most days. Today

He is on his own and has

Been drinking since noon.

It is four o’clock. He will

Go on drinking now until

He can drink no more.

This is a thing he has

Done for many years. He

Sees some friends now,

They beckon him and he

Follows. For a little

While, he leaves behind

His company, the people

He carries: the people he

Knew, the ones he didn’t

Know, the living and the

Dead ones, the ones who

Tried to kill him, the ones

He killed.

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