• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 01

Trying it on

The late owner (Australian, it seems)
Wore it only once, out on the town.
One detects, from that occasion, receipts
In pockets, mashed down as if in rage:
A pint of Worthington; a G&T.
The suit was new. Today I pick it up
By cash-strapped chance, and so we meet,

Across a certain gap of years.
One of us an imitator, in the
Market for a bargain, for fresh ideas
Keyed to his lowly station – the other gone
But not all gone. I try his life on, here
I wonder how it complements my ghost of a beard.

Or does it show me up? Does it belong
Back on the rack of sad donations –
The pinstriped relics (two- or three-piece ones),
The leather jackets (fake) and denims (real)?
Or maybe I myself, with shopping done,
Am soon to glimpse myself in a Soho glass?
A penny-pinching poser thrust among

His fellow posers, waiting at a bar,
Our cheap smiles wearing terribly thin ...
I’m no Antipodean, no. But aren’t
These threads, abandoned, pretty much as new?
Reckoning thus, I make my choice. How smart
Of me to smarten up my act! I’ll pay;
And you’ll see. I can change. It’s not so very hard.