A New Route Home

The glowing ember
Of your cigarette tip
Gives you away
As you lunge forwards
Out of the shadows
Of some waterside willow.

The glint of a blade
Catches the glow of
A streetlight and you
Bark some incoherent
Order or threat to me,
Presumably regarding
The releasing of valuables
Or something of that nature.
But I stare
Blankly.

If you had to,
Could you have
Used the knife?
Perhaps, to seperate
Some of the stubbly skin
Just below my jaw or, maybe,
To loosen the flabby midriff
And thrust up below the ribs.

Would you have lowered me gently,
Like someone bathing an infant,
To soak up the murky canal water
Like a human sponge, my face
Sleeping but blue and bloated?

Fortunately or not, we shall never know
As the horn of some passing houseboat
Unsettled you and you told me gruffly to
‘Fuck off’ and I made my move
Off into the night and towards home,
My heart beating like the hammers of hell.

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