Queue to leave

by Emma Gaen

A large muffin of a man

Leans against a grimy signpost

Swathed in a toffee coloured duffel coat

Speckled with tears of rain,

His coal black hair is slicked behind scarlet ears

And a thin snake tongue licks pursed lips.

Slitted eyes narrow dangerously as,

Glancing at a silver watch

Strapped tightly around his podgy wrist

He tut-tutters and peers down a dirty street

Listening out expectantly

For a double-decker’s distinct rumble.


Behind ‘Lizard lips’

A frail teenager slouches against a graffitied wall,

Bloodshot eyes distant and staring,

Slimy knotted locks swept hurriedly back

Into a grubby bobble.

Her pale oily face is festooned with large pus-filled spots

And her manicured nails

Are chipped and bitten.

Ragged fading flares grip her slender legs

As water spits down

And she wobbles dangerously on four-inch heels.


To the left of ‘Pizza face’

A feeble old granny stoops,

Gripping a tartan shopping trolley

Bulging with a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables.

His leathery skin is wrinkled and raw,

Brittle fingers and trembling,

A thin moist layer of saliva

Trickles down blue-tinged lips

And onto a hairy chin,

Skagged tights lie rumpled around weak ankles

While pools of water seep up

Into her worn plimsolls.


On the graffitied wall behind ‘Wrinkles’

Sit a ginger cat

Gazing curiously around

Through glistening honey-toned eyes

And tensing as rain beats down

Upon her silken fur,

A pallette of autumn hues;

Bronze and scarlet, gold and tan.

Yawning lazily, he scratches at the decaying wall

And proudly catwalks across it.