Fred West’s Cardigan

The sun so vicious hot the tarmac burnt
the Spanish intern’s instep mid-Flamenco,
Fred. I searched for the long gone Youth Club-
right forgotten at the poetry festival, run

by this African Rifles vet called Ken. You probably
knew of him within the jungle din of rumbling bikes,
your gypsy looks and grin, the bramble hair, all that.
The girl that smacked you up the escape

on Bye Street to the Homend where kids
still skulk in stilts, too bored to grope and eating
hands by stalls of drizzle. Scrim, more bloody
melting tea under a scowl of weightless breasts,

the Milk Bar’s ghost where you met Rena.
Lassoed with dirty promise, a cavernous mouth
of bragging entire wildness, a sausage plait
of shame the poets hanker on. Refined; Can the

air be more rarefied do you think? Do you miss
the knife-sharp bunting? Would I put on your cardigan
in this God-forsaken heat, the woollen embrace of a
scrambled animal, pre-Rose, like rape- some home?

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