amber

she won’t tell me her name
her eyes roll from
side to side when I ask
so I ask her what
names she likes
and she says amber
so amber is her name now.
she likes brooke too, with an e
or saffron because
she loves ab fab, though
it’s been a good fucking while
since she’s watched the telly.
she left home at thirteen or
fourteen, for a bloke
she doesn’t tell me much about
him, but she says she
thought they would marry
for a little while
then she got hard on the e’s
and lost
where she was for a little while
she asks me for a cigarette and
a cold drink
I sit with her by the bars for hours
she keeps her nails clean
but her hair is thin and
she has no back teeth
amber, you are
so intelligent, I tell her
and she laughs and
then adrian passes by
with half a spliff and she
tells him to share
she’s not interested in
him though, only in me
she makes me feel
like I am the centre of
the universe
she could be so angry
but she isn’t
she wanted to be an air
hostess when she was young
(I wonder, how young
because although she is
grey from the london air,
her soul doesn’t seem old)
she likes her doctor
he used to give her the valium
before she messed up
the script
and he tells her not to
sleep by the tube vents
because she’s giving herself
carbon monoxide poisoning
but she’s cold
and there are blokes everywhere else
she doesn’t sleep anyway
not for long
amber, I say
you are 
so full of
stories and imagination
she’s never been in trouble,
bar once
when she stole from a shop to
get arrested so she could
get a probation officer to help her
with getting a giro
they didn’t help her
but she got free coffee and a bed in the station
I have to go at 2am
but she won’t let me
leave without giving me
tobacco wrapped in a
receipt
I go to my bed and bemoan
that I’ve been too lazy to
buy fruit
and she sleeps by the vent
breathing in poison
amber,
life is so fucking unfair
I am sorry you have to be cold
I am sorry that dirty man stole your new jacket
and made it stink
when can I see you again, amber?
I promise I’ll buy you
another jacket

 

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