The City Bar, Inverness

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.

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