by Harry Man


n. one of the hundreds of people who look like Sue from far away, but are in fact strangers.


Cottoning on too late, the Herne Hill train sparking slow

away into the sleet, that you are not you, but a telesue

coming in from the wings of the platform to play a cameo,

and I remember the background buzz of a fancy dress shop

as past tense as your maiden name, the pop and slup

of trying on fancy dress masks of cow heads, stormtroopers

and elven faces – shrieks as the elastics stripped our hair, stooped

almost kissing as I freed you and you freed me, and lost touch.

Now you’re just a Yahoo email address and a year, a smudge

of a photo from that Halloween party, you and your Carlsberg

leaning focusless into the frame, and here in the sleet the telesue

lips a favourite-coloured scarf against the wind, but Sue, real Sue

there are days I don’t believe in doubles or daydreams,

when you’re behind every windscreen of every car coming the other way.

© Harry Man