(Alternatively, see Version 1)

You reordered fear to shifting organs.

You’ve heard of the cold epidemic
running rings around us.

Your smile is
spot-lit helplessly but
you get on like
your house, engulfed.

In the baroque interior of your thoughts,
after all,
was a theatre,
and a setlist for five-hundred seats
asking for wiser stages
from your agent.

Famous under your sun
for anecdotes I couldn’t begin,
in-betweening some with laughter
in our tough-crowded room.

I hope you understood
that if we could
we would
brew our doppelgängers
out of malt, water, yeast and hops
to fill fold-away chairs
with lopsided, spewing froth,

in those unfunny catacombs –
the basement of this bar,
which was
not even tragic enough
for comedy.

You spoke with teeth given freedom,
tongue and body without trying,
punctuating a joke, an exclamation,
like I’ll just have to imagine
a funny lady where Ian Curtis stands –
but I love you, more than my creation;
I was wide-eyed
on my ticket.

Now I come along with
fake moustaches,
a smile up the slow stairs
and a tour of the city.

I called it a night.


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