[Image by Mac Rebisz]
[Inspired by Martin Buttrich’s “Tripping in the 16th”:]
Her voice accompanied him everywhere, his own
personal, portable Angel of Conscience
whispering in his ear as he strolled the streets,
trying to come down enough to return
to her bed.
It wasn’t easy being chastised like this,
dizzying, in fact. A conflicted swirl
of emotion. A man of his kind,
doing what he did – what he told himself he didn’t
want to do, but blood is blood;
from an egg a chicken
and all that.
The coarse laughter of a gang of girls
pierced his ears from across the street;
raised, gruff voices of drunken men leaked
out from the pub just down the way.
She didn’t know, of course, in reality.
Only his Angel knew, bearing witness as she did
to his acts, viewed from his own eyes.
Atrocious. But hindsight’s a wonderful
distorter. Truth was,
he loved it; loved the thrill, the buzz,
the euphoria of power. Every fibre
of his being craved it.
His Angel, though, she had to go and remind him
that these secrets wouldn’t wash with
his girl, his beautiful everything,
waiting unsuspecting for him at the flat.
Gave him a damned migraine, it did,
worsened by the lights – of cars, of shops;
a sensory overload in neon rainbows.
He couldn’t lose her. The pain
of this thought alone was enough
to show him the edge of insanity
waiting for him if she walked away.
He lit a cigarette, the glow illuminating his brow:
furrowed and glistening with the sweat of a troubled mind.
A passer-by jogged his shoulder, sending ash tumbling
onto his jeans. “Watch it!” He growled, his voice a quiet danger.
Perfume. He’d buy her some scent.
Not the posh kind, not the 99 pence junk
either, but a scent to accentuate her own
and mask his guilt.
[Copyright © N R Nolan 2015]