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To my left they talk in Mandarin,
at one o’clock the girl with crossed legs
and round knees talks loudly,
cool, doctor great, amazing,
shows her friend the ‘artistic photos’
on her mobile,
while the girl at the next table
wears hoops of bangles to hide her wrists,
but not the cuts on her forearm;
she smiled as she sat down,
then buried her face in ‘Overcoming Bulimia’
before steeping herself in revision,
like so many others here.

Only two read for pleasure,
or have the inclination
to sit and do nothing
except drink coffee
and watch the old man with his back to the wall
scribble in his notebook,
unaware he is writing of them.

Intersecting Lines

Derby City Poets