Bright sun and almost empty bars.
The sofas tattered: no lights in the toilet
where, by Blackberry flash, I applied
just lipstick and mascara, plus
the powder from the compact you'd discarded.
The extra holiday meant buses coming later.
Few were out yet. Those who were, were loud:
braying white cis gay guys. Such a bunch
of personalities we found another bar.
I thought of London, the siesta-silence of a Soho pub
shattered by a wanna-thesp whose voice dripped privilege,
declaiming 'CUNT!' as if two pints had made him Withnail.
We figured we'd see less guys in the Dog.
We were right: just us, two more dykes and the barmaid.
Paint-stripper techno drowning conversation.
More women entered. Nine or ten. A crowd!
I kept my head down, scared of being made
by rads, or, worse, knocked back for looking rough.
Switch was even emptier. A whole bar
to yourself falls short of what's expected,
especially when the Guinness comes in cans.
We drifted leftwards, one more for the road,
and found the only place with something like a party.
Too tired to dance, to weak to fight for seats
with drag queens dressed like Kate and Pippa,
we finished up, hugged awkwardly,
went home to news of cleared squats
and burned-out Tesco Metros.