knows how to butter toast
spear the mushrooms on his fork
he can eat like a human being, not a beast
still has some social graces
but he doesn’t know where he is
why he was there on the beach
knows no-one in the world except some people at that school
those faces in the street
& now, Annie

– Look, I’ve got to go to work
I can come back at lunchtime, though
I’m really sorry, but I’m late already
he said he’d fire me if I was late again
he nods to show he understands
that’s another thing I know
what gestures to make

he understands, firing, too, & jobs

– There’s books in there, some magazines
or maybe you’d prefer a nap
you’ll be okay
she couches it as a statement
but he can feel a question lurking

– I’ll be okay, he says
what kind of a world is this, he thinks
where a woman can find a naked stranger on a beach
take him back to her little house
then go away
leaving him the run of the place?
a better world than the one I was living in
the fork, the dream, the students
that little backstreet flat

A good place, not a million miles away
just a twist in the air perhaps

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