“I, Chivalrous” by Simon Webster (published by Visual Verse)

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She wafts wafer thin. Her frame makes me consider the substance within. It’s winter in this part of town, everywhere frowns and shivers. There’s ice in the rivers. She must be cold in her diaphanous cloak. She whispers like smoke down the lanes that butt in and poke from more meaty streets where cinemas are found. She makes not a sound. She must be chilled to the bone. I do not wish my cover blown. Should it rain her clothes will be a window pane of polyurethane.

She meets her soul mate at twenty to eight. He is broad as a smear on the right hemisphere and he bloats in his thick winter coat as they kiss, more of a peck, they miss. She gets his fat neck. I will him to wrap her deep into his fleece though their proximity disturbs my peace and I wish him dead. Some bullet in the head would be ace. It’s that sort of place. He does not and connects with her instead at the thinnest point, her wrist. She does not resist and I watch them together like a tank with a feather as they reach the cinema doors.

A poster hangs behind glass. Doris Day in a blue dress showing some skin and Jimmy Cagney trying a grin. They don’t look at the poster, don’t read it. It just hangs there as background, they probably don’t need it, but I look and it makes me consider what a girl like that sees in some dirty rat. They talk for a while, gentle at first, then heated, I think somebody cheated. They join in raised voices, maybe enough for her to question her choices and he leaves her there, in cold weather, this wafer thin feather. He’s more primate than soul mate I think to myself and it feels like I wait for a year. There’s no-one to hold her up, to hold her dear. Wafer thin with thoughts unclear.

I step out from the dark and I start some bleating about the cinema’s heating and we chit-chat like this for a while. She cracks a smile and it warms me. It warms and it makes me consider if I do truly care that she’ll get sick, wafting about town in winter without a pick. She looks good, after all, don’t knock it. I spend all in my pocket on tickets and dinner and ice cream in a mall. I do her up against a wall.

We go on some dates and see all of the greats and I drive her about in my car. I tell her how things are and what she should think. I like a drink. I buy her respectable clothes. I buy her a crutch. Sometimes I drink too much. She shivers from my touch.

And now from some bridge I yapped on as a young chap I am hanging from my ankles and I think they may snap. It is me who needs the bubble wrap.

MORE VISUAL VERSE STORIES BY SIMON WEBSTER HERE

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