Brussels Centraal

In restaurant land
on a damp submarine morning
the sous and commis chefs
prepared crustacean displays
stuck chicory heads and lemons
in banks of shaved ice
stuck temptation in your face
as you breathed in
to pass the leather tourists
who in tall thin streets
came groping thin wallets
then groped each other
licking each other’s lips
as if in consolation
for the exchange rate
and the state
of their nation.

The waiters came
with red and yellow roses
placed in cut glass
placed on stiff linen
placed on tables
placed on cobbles
worn down by centuries
of looking up at
leather skirts
and dogs’ crotches.

A dog came,
a large one from Alsace
and sat and shat
a rare mass of thickly
tubular waste.

Then came a weak tide
of bladder wrack drizzle
moistening the stones
and lightly glazing
the Belgian’s chocolate

Then came the day’s
beer delivery
with a flatulent duodenal exhaust
and a fat set of Pirellis
holding back the shrieking
tour of guided adolescents
who came after it, thick
like in the neck of a bottle
treading in it
and spreading it
foot to foot
restaurant to restaurant.

Then came squeals and giggles,
clods of matter  in random flight
olfactory chaos landing on heads
as they tried to shake it off
their trainers treads

Damp brown footprints breeding
like a genetic mistake
amongst empty tables,
the air, gastronomically expectant
desecrated by  flies foraging
between the table’s legs
and the eggs
and the fish

Then came the Eurocrats
and Diplomats
talking policy responsibly,
talking anyway possibly
as a dozen fresh oysters
slithered down the slackened throat
(much more of a slither than a munch)
and an unpleasant odour
slithered up the puckered nostril
like a surviving worm
emerging from some newly opened can
and forcing an undiplomatic
















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