Paddy’s gone bowling with his mates.
Frankie says he’s going into town
with Corinne, but doesn’t add
that Derek’s promised to take him
for a night out.
At the bottom of Westgate Hill,
Corinne and Frankie head for the club.
He pushes open the swing doors
they hit a wall of heat and noise
it parts and swallows them.
Red and silver strobe Frank’s body
like hands stroking him
that slide off along the sticky floor.
His ears throb with heat
stuffed with cotton bass thrum
smoky shapes flit and jive
legs and arms move in a tangle
the whole room’s alive
a wriggling mass. His eyes pick out details:
spiky hair, red nails, black leather
metal studs, T shirts cling to thin backs
eyes touch him, lips open and grin,
then he hears Frankie!
above the din, Derek pushes
through the crowd, and faces him:
How yer doing? Hiya Corinne
She smiles, they start to chat
but in the corner
Frankie can’t stop seeing a grey haired man
they’re still and right, not dancing
not bothered, deaf to the music
blind to the people, cool
as you please in the microwave heat.
He watches and sees, he takes it in –
men loving men.