The City Bar, Inverness
You wandered in to Brown Sugar:
a woman in transit,
soon to leave on a flight
that takes less than an hour although home
is a long way from here.
You and three other women
enticed by white tulips in tall vases
to a bookies’ den with green vinyl benches.
Yeah, Brown Sugar.
Shoot me, you once said, if I ever dance to this,
then you caught yourself dancing
at Andrea’s fortieth
on an L-shaped dance-floor
in the Chase Hotel.
The women didn’t stay.
The barman, who looks as if he’s been shaken
awake, brings you white wine
that’s cheap and pleasingly dry
and you watch the screen in the corner
fill up with photos of sweets:
Crème Egg, Bounty, Skittles.
Vodka shots, £1.50 each.
Chicken Curry Chilli Beef.
A bucket of vodka and Shark for five quid.
Chocolate Buttons. Crunchie. Parma Violets.
How can you leave a pub when Peter Sarstedt’s playing?
Or when it’s someone else’s Oasis moment?
Scampi Fries will do for lunch.
Lemmie’s on the Highway to Hell.
Optics are mirrored without coloured lights.
Here what you see is sometimes what you get.