Only Rosie Smokes

All rickety wood desks and chairs,
Garish matt-lemon pimply walls;
Unlit corridors that trail to stairs
Where a ghostly hum summons from the hall:
The irritable lift, grumbling empty –
Deep in this labyrinth of gingery glimpses
Into hobbit-offices shut off like thoughts
On problems that haven’t solutions
Bides faded, buck-toothed Rosie wrinkled
As a walnut, sole heir to the privilege
Of lighting up at work, poised with
Perpetual Silk Cut as she hunches,
Screwing her eyes at faceless audits
In the swirling vapours of her vice
Like Lewis Carroll’s Caterpillar.
Fogs of rank fag-smoke for six hours
Percolate with the filtered coffee
Like the scent of hash in a Kashmir arcade.

Alan Morrison

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