In the ritual of unpairing,
Someone must be first to leave
But it’s always you, hurrying, unstaring,
Narrowing your shoulders through iron gates,
Careless of snail-brown London paving,
Or shellac seas at airports and train stations.
Bow-legged strutting from football days,
Suckling on phone and fag. Leaving our pillow,
How quickly the rose-gold bowl of your head fills
With the day’s grain swelling haze till
Once more you are a thick-necked, cropped cockerel,
Followed by strangers who distend your image.
Stiff-tailed, texting, scrolling, fidgeting
Blue ears, half-closed eyes pitching with
The midges of today’s news, old songs, entrances, exits.
“Oh, isn’t she from The Antiques Roadshow?”
Your Followers don’t love you but you don’t want love just
To be Followed.
Twittering in transit, you go travellating in smooth
Black headphones so nothing maims,
Holds, snaps, catches, distills, or remains –
And never, once, looking back at me.