You wear an old tweed coat.
It smells of mothballs and cigarettes,
with patches at the sleeves
& a faded name (Archie, Allan, Alex…)
on the label scratching against your neck.
You bought it for two dollars twenty,
from a little old lady who carried
singed relics from houses turned to ash
in the pockets inside her dress.
You roll the sleeves to the elbow;
and still, they keep falling,
dangling, giving you longer arms
that cannot grasp at coffee cups and hips.
You are a mismatched body:
as if your limbs had been quilted on
by a blind, daft seamstress.
You carry a notebook when you wear
that old tweed coat (it reeks of absinthe
and memories). With your paper-crinkled fingers,
you tally the glances alive with a question,
eyes that shimmer with signs that read:
“I had an old coat once.
It was linen, not tweed,
and smelled of roses and coffee,
and it killed my mother with sickly-sweet
You stumble in that old tweed coat
through the gentle rain. You wash away
clinging house fires, and ask for strangers in their
silk skirts and velvet brassiere to burn your
polaroid image into their thoughts.
You scrounge for sympathy,
like a beggar on the Spanish Steps.