back when they were in high school,
cody caught the bus further than anyone else,
to a line of run-down tenements
lining the base of the hills like ants.
it was the autumn of twenty-sixteen
when he plucked up the courage to take her somewhere personal.
he held her hand tight as they got off the seventy-one c.
"i don't even know why i brought you here," he said,
"this place is a shithole."
he kicked an empty coke can beside him as he walked.
goodness knows where it had been.
he seemed to have forgotten she'd grown up in
a place called shawland town,
a suburb of sixties-born buildings
amist a ground that was grey, not green.
the skies reeked of inner surburbia.
she looked around with new-found eyes.
there were so many things she wished to say,
but the only one that came out of her mind was,
there was the mandatory giggle after that.
she knew boys wanted a shawland girl,
boys like the ones she met, boys maybe like cody.
and she wanted to finally fit those shoes herself,
those pretty pink birdfeet shoes
that were too tight around her ankles.
she yearned for it.
"take me to your house," she said.