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Reversing the Charges


With eyes wide shut, I saw

that unchanged box: the crown above

a concrete base, cast-iron sides

and dome of currant red.

Four fingers crooked to prise ajar

its glazed, teak-heavy door.


Inside, the glass is uglified.

NF stickers clash with brazen ‘massage’ ads –

hate meets hanky-panky.


I unhook the hard black handset,

unwind its cable, tightly coiled.

Paused at the dialling tone


my head fills with excuses,

speaks to those ghosts of lost entanglement.

The nagging hum of piss,


patting pockets down for 10p pieces

before I get cut off.

Outside a geezer, glaring, checks his watch.


Headstrong nights had ambition then.

Listening for things to come

my shape became an ear.

But round the bend and out of sight,

in dreams I hear just nameless cars

pass by as streams of light.

Mark Cassidy is an almost retired radiographer originally from Birmingham via the Isle of Wight. He now lives in Bury St Edmunds. He writes in the gaps between family, birdwatching, and Oxfam books. His poems have appeared in various European magazines and anthologies, and may also be found on-line at:

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