A globe of churning supper
beneath the TM Lewin shirt stretched thin.
Crisply ironed this morning, now housing
blooming stains of sauce, wine, and some undetermined other.
A quick meeting and a bit of nosh they'd said,
over a quick guzzle at The Tipperary. What started with
half a Guinness swiftly descended,
where the tiny glass looked Liliputian in his fat and sausaged fingers.
The Guinness swilled in pints this time and then came chips: big ones,
cooked twice in goosefat, stacked
in bales on a breadboard:
I miss plates, one of them says.
A roll-call of City bankers and brokers through the door,
booming men with dusty jewels for eyes,
eyes dry with the hangover of last night's deal.
Glinting are their cufflinks, wet with
London Pride and a whisky chaser.
Another swarm of suits enters the room, a sweep of the bar:
another round before the eating proper.
Next door to steaks, a hot breath of charred meat
drums upon their faces.
One of them wears spectacles, that steam up with the swell.
They squeeze into a booth with busting buttonholes and zips,
with eyes like currants they clutch at wine,
upwards claret fangs on mouths with a
blackening of teeth.
Fried brie, to start; they don't want to wait,
never a minute without something greasy in their grasp.
Steaks arrive with chips again and also their own weather-system,
upwards steam of
meat-facials to smooth their glossy cheeks.
Another Chateauneuf du Pap, he shouts,
stemmed glasses smudged with cheesy thumbprints,
soon cleaned on napkins so they can text their wives
to say they'll be late home.
The peals of laughter roaring out make light of
they'll flap their FTs out on the train from Cannon Street,
gurgling with full.
And outside the Tube station sits a woman begging scraps to eat:
funny how finding half a Pret A Manger sandwich
can make her day.