Zink & Sons – Marc M

No brush box, picket fence or
magpie-lark
stills the blood
that races
heart that beats
and sweaty hands clinging to bus bars
on the way to Oxford Street
grown larger, brighter,
more menacing.
With each stop the bus thrusts
as though a prod
goading him
the devil’s in the bus
along the street
as the boy looks down and sticks to shop-front windows
to dissolve
to become invisible
to feign an interest in Zink & Sons
in bespoke suits and tailoring
when he wants nothing of the kind.
He darts a look across,
that sinister street!
thickly peopled, he looks down
to his fine suits and ties.
There it is, he says
(a rip in his stomach)
the midnight club that stalked him
drew him rooted to that spot
the patterned terrazzo floor.
He cannot move for that shop-front window
a shelter
art-deco keeps him in the shadow of the past,
bound to tradition
to beauty, shape and form
to what is known, normal
to G. A. Zink & Sons, tailors, clothiers.
He need only walk across the street,
the street of longing,
attach himself to the queue
pull out a cigarette,
puff and stop the sweat pouring
wait
wait to get in and then, once inside, finally
grow solid,
take shape,
stand up straight
look himself in the eye.
That is not in the design of things:
the rounded forms hold tight
Zink & Sons
haute couture, culture, architecture, meaning
substance to his mind.
He lingers looking down
at the colours,
the fresh art-deco olive green and pink,
and he is lost.
Lost to the silence of the suburban street,
still and quietly wild.
No magpie lark to sing him home,
only a song, merciless, tiresome
banging in his head.
And so to fitful sleep,
to papery-thin dreams and
brutal sheets of love
wrapping, tossing,
holding him down
to the tick-tock of time.