On the tube I stink of whore, echo with her
bastard sighs and moans, rumbling through
the underground, smoothing down my hair,
and wash away the moment like a stain.

I don’t have a problem with what has gone before,
a redhead with a diplomatic sense: French
or Greek by turns, and not allowed to kiss;
that, she coos, is slipping through her guard.

None of us are pretty when on fire,
and she has closed her eyes, offering a smile:
I like to think she sees her kids at school,
not bags of skag or crack cocaine,
the fact that I can’t really plug her in.

Sex is damp and standard,
a foggy Sunday night; an atmosphere
that’s charged with guilt and rage.

Doug Gray

If you've any comments on this poem, Doug Gray would be pleased to hear from you.