“Just Like a Boyfriend”


Coffee and cake
at Marylebone station
she looks pretty
in the afternoon light
shows me a picture of her boy
nine years old
lives outside Chongqing
near a lake
we take the tube north to her next place
doesn’t like the job but the money is good
told me “Two or three times a day
just like a boyfriend is okay”
but when it’s ten or more
she’s shattered and worn
sleeps for days when the weekends done
not a bed of roses I might say
at Golders Green
we walk across town
and find the flat after searching around
I drag her suitcase
to the top floor
just a warm hug
before she steps through the door.



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