Poetry: Matinee Idol | clivejames.com
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Matinee Idol

I was seventeen, you're joking, Christ alive,
and you with all the worldliness
that comes of playing everyone,
were twenty eight or was it nine?

Remember Stratford's river lights,
strings of unlucky lucky pearls, the Dirty Duck,
and some other bar, red — a womb you said.
Remember darlin, how later,

in someone's rhododendron garden,
Mozart floated by candlelight over houses
and up to stars — you found us wine
and damp sun beds to sit whispering on,

until words slowed and eye to eye
my head was in your hands, my mouth
on yours; the empty theatre lying dark and low
on a tide that flowed all the way to winter.