The space

There’s a live radio version from 2008 (before I had vocal lessons) here.

It’s midnight in Dream city again,
with its dark derelict house-rows,
dubious kitchens, tables for two,
corner bars. Where are the friends I seek?

Not in that bar — that’s all folk music.
I drop off my mother there. You’ll like this, I say.
I drop her off and walk alone
past people who no longer scare me
now that I’ve dropped her off.

I walk a couple of blocks of my dream-streets
to another bar. Setanta Sports, Guinness,
small, low, grotty.
My friends are there. They say hello.
They sit and stand around the room.
They are leaving a space for someone
who should be there, but has been lost.

I get a beer, sit by the wall. I’m next to the space.
I listen to their talk.
A senior man storytells, standing up,
projecting his voice over the heads of the gathering.
I hear him but his words don’t touch me.
I sit with my beer, quietly breathing, next to the space.

In walks an old colleague of mine, someone from reality.
He used to have curly red hair and a big horsey mouth.
Now his hair is wispy grey and his face has shrivelled.
But I can say his name. He stands in front of me
and tries to guess who I am.
But he doesn’t know me without my mother.

I don’t tell him. He keeps asking.
I hear him but his words don’t touch me.
I hear him but his words don’t touch me.
I sit with my beer, quietly breathing, next to the space.

What do you think?