Classic motors took up every inch of kerb-space –
nifty cream models upholstered in suede,
blood-red hotrods with detachable rooftops;
a prideful display of virility in chrome.
It was the wrong side of town for poor dressers.
Unhealthy, in your hand-me-downs, you ambled
in on a traffic of bodies dressed to impress.
Cosmeticised creatures in silver and gold
slipped demurely into taxicabs. Senile codgers,
winking in the windows of The Club Elite,
flashed laser creases, snow-capped teeth.
There was no-one you knew among the retouched faces.
No-one you knew in the lava-lamp-lit doorway of The Bamboo Palace.
No-one you knew muttering prayers and salutations at the parking-meters.
No-one you knew drooling the blues into a banged-up Hohner.
It was the wrong side of town for a green, trusting boy.
From your first step over the line you were under the radar,
tracked by the heat of an eye ever-looking
for someone obtrusive like you.
Foolhardy as Christ on the wrong side of the town.
© 2008, Aidan Murphy
From: Poetry Ireland Review