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There is something odd about this place
it's not the cobweb curtained wood beams
or the peeling plaster
it's not the familiarity
with which the smell greets you
or the noises that sound like footsteps
or the wind that creaks old timber
or the drips of last nights rain
dropping into pools collecting on the dance floor
it's not the smell of burning wood
or the broken charred tables and chairs
or the stairs collapsed in the corner
or the holes in the roof
that capture sky
it's none of those
but it is odd

this place is my Titanic
my ocean bottom ruin
brought onto land
and left to rot on the harbour side
it was the place we met
and the place we parted
and you haunt it still
living in the shadows
crack wood or flick a stone
always just out of sight
but I know you are there
and I frighten the children away
so that we can be alone

Night crashes in through the veranda window
the moon reflects from the wet leaves
of the Rhododendron
and your shadow flickers in the corner
while I watch content to know you are close

outside the bulldozers wait
for morning

Photo of building


I can measure
the time we where together
in nights punctuated by
the red glow of a cigarette
after we had sex
and an occasional moon slicing through
a curtain gap
reflecting off sweat stained skin

so much of our time
spent in the dark
and in the morning
as I watch you change the sheets
to take away the carnal damp
and the smell of me
I hear you hum
the drunken street songs from the night
when I thought you where asleep

That's how it was
but although I always hoped
you would wait for me to leave
before you changed the sheets
you never did


when it was new
the silver tiled ceiling
above the dance-floor
reflected a thousand
broken fly-eye images of you
you danced alone
arched back
to smile at leering faces
and I watched
content to admire
the swirling sweating body
that would later lie with me

your laughter
woke me
it turned to screams

In the morning
the bulldozers
will wipe my sheet clean


you lay quiet
once you knew
I could never let you go
you should not have tried to leave
no word
no note
just going
without me
and laughing when I said
we could be together
you stopped screaming
as my hands tightened
around your throat

small in death
sleeping under the dance floor
you emerge each night
to dance for me
then hide in dark corners
and even when I bring fire
to flush you out
you still avoid me

the bulldozers come
to wipe you away forever

I hear you creeping round
bone footed
clattering as you dance
sometimes I feel
the touch of your cold hand
the warmth of life left you
cold and hard in death

I hear you
moving through the building
moving closer
and there
there are other sounds
others moving

I cannot see them in the dark
but catch a hint of movement
and the smell of rot
like something decayed
outside the bulldozer
engines wind into life
headlights cut
through the dirt
and soot stained windows
sending shadows fleeing

Photo of building


There is something odd about this place
the polished wood beams
the mirror tiled ceiling
and you dancing
head back laughing
at the familiar
leering faces
while I watch
content to admire
the swirling sweating body

it's none of those
but it is odd
the way morning
never comes


email the author
visit the author's website
read another poem by the author on the Aabye's Baby Archive

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This page last updated: 12th November 2006.