Poetry: Graham Fulton

Blue Bag

on the
9 bus
the alcoholic with the thin wrists
and the long thin black hair
and the black beard
who may be
old or young
tenderly
pulls the half bottle
of vodka from out
of his wrinkly blue bag
but not all the way
then
quietly with his long thin fingers
it seems reverently
unscrews the red top
and brings the mouth
of the bottle up to his own mouth
like a kiss
and tilts the bottle
and takes
a long long long mouthful
that seems to last forever
then
untilts the bottle
and quietly with his long thin fingers
it seems sacredly
screws the red top
back on
and puts it back
in his wrinkly blue bag
then searches
for his right jacket pocket
and searches for his left jacket pocket
and looks over his left shoulder
and looks over his right shoulder
to see if someone is there
and
tenderly pulls the half bottle
of vodka from out of his
wrinkly blue bag
but not all the way

 

Previously featured in Edinburgh Review 135. Discover more about Graham Fulton.

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