by Peter Knaggs
The racks of bikinis and sunglasses and slippers
and dressing gowns, the shelves of water jugs
and balti dishes have gone and so have the people
who sold them.
A man called Lionbar has jemmied the firedoor.
He’s making himself comfortable in menswear,
abandoned of everything men wear. He has
a cheese sandwich in a Kingsmill bag, a melon
and a carving knife to wave at impudent rats.
In the night, he hears a radio.
He recalls the Thursday before last, the CCTV
footage in the security office, the girl rushing
like an angel smeared in the snow. He is sure
it is the same face, the same face, or is it?
The woman running down the ghost elevator
and in the store of insomniacs, in torchlight,
his pound-shop torchlight, one pound, the price
Sir Philip sold the whole company for, thus
relinquishing pension responsibility for all his,
no one has a clock
and Lionbar remembers the cackle of the walkie-talkie
the police on their way another shoplifter biting
her light-fingered nails.
Peter Knaggs is the author of two poetry collections. 'Sunburnt Bollock,' is forthcoming.