Hunger, Love and Cyndi Lauper
My stomach, like my bank account, was overdrawn.
I walked home from work
Past pawn shops and take-aways
To a flat that was a payday and a bus-ride away.
I had no gold to exchange for the bubbling fats and salts
Whose smells mocked the hole in my pocket.
I read the cold look in the eyes of the doorman at Tesco’s,
Heard the caw of gulls who had abandoned sands
To feed off the surplus in urban lands,
And carried on home empty-handed
To you: in a bathtowel, on the edge of an unmade bed,
Sipping reheated coffee and painting your toenails red.
Your lips were smooth and fresh and plump
And I ate heartily from them.
Your eyes were half-full dark wine glasses
And I drank intoxicatingly from their laughter.
On a diet of bread and water
We banged the bars of the bed against the walls of our neighbours
Staying warm with each other throughout that long winter,
I worked two jobs for you in order
When the working day was done
I could, looking like a pauper,
Dance to Cyndi Lauper,
Poor, happy and just … having … fun.