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Iona Mandal

We held hands and collected love spoons In those quaint fishing villages
Where antique shops traipsed in
Merged in with casinos
Betting places and gambling clubs
The ones where bulky, heavy Cockney-accented men Trudged in, arms patterned with tattoos like
“Let Us Compare Mythologies.”
Or “Words Fail, Music Speaks.”

I remember how you stared disapprovingly
At their false gold teeth
Sniffing or coughing every time
You saw a metallic ring on a finger or a baseball cap turned The other way round

And now I hear
The alarm on my phone ringing
Reminding me to pick you up from the pub
After your hour long chat over a pint with your mates

Because I know
I know you’ll be too drunk to find your way home No
Instead you’ll be at the antique shop
Collecting knives.