POEM by Michael Botur ‘Somebody To Smoke With’

Somebody To Smoke With

Michael Botur

 

I sat the Friday night in a Subaru

in a car park with male ape mates in oversized

XL white t-shirts, sucking on pipes

Just for somebody to smoke with

 

 

Did three weeks’ sweaty sunburned work

pushing a post hole borer in the dirt

with an ex-con who shared his pipe,

wet with spit from our lips.

At knock-off we said Fuck it, wiped off our dust, our musk, our smell

with a paint-stiffened towel,

 

shared a bucket of crunchy KFC motivated by munchies,

washed it down with cans of bourbon cola Cody’s

pleased to have a bro to share a cone and a Family Feast. We

 

 

grown men make out like we are staunch, strong, chill, unafraid

like we ain’t at pains to get laid and praised

cause we could get hit by a bus any day

Men in their 30s, 40s, 50s. Men in matching patches, hoodies,

 

Men in rugby stubbies. Men in cycle-lycra

having mid-life crises.

Men ram-raiding Unichem pharmacies

at 4.15 on a Thursday morning, squealing tyres and guilty pleas

And getting bulldogs and BPs tattooed on our cheeks

 

Consigning us to a life we can’t come back from,

like tryina climb a hydroslide

All cause we wanted somebody to be a bloke with

To feel less lonely, somebody to smoke with.

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