We’ve tried many times to go straight
but always we’re pulled back towards
that purple bruise on all our flesh.
It’s easier for me.
I tell you it’s nothing at all,
you find a job and stay sober.
‘I’ve got a job’ you say, looking out
at the pier with knees against your chin,
the vest you’ve owned since ‘45
still stuck with last night’s sweat.
‘You know what I mean’ I reply.
‘A life of crime has never suited me.’
‘That’s not what you were saying when
the crime was getting done’ you say,
and start to gently rock, rubbing eyes
on pale knees.