It would be years before I realised it was love when I listened to the law tutor reel off the four stages of drunkenness: jocose, bellicose, lachrymose, comatose. I was eighteen, on day release from the Bank, would have rather been sitting in the Kardomah Café at the bottom of the hill than in a tiered lecture room of a technical college at the top. But 40 years later they are the first words I speak this morning, remembering too the short, plump man with a pocket watch tucked into his waistcoat, his untamed mane of white hair, this gift he cast my way, how I leaned a little closer and wrote it down.
all the stories
Note: First published in Modern Haiku 44.3, Fall 2013.