One less face at a leaving do,
two fewer eyes to blithely scan
the epigram ‘you’ll be missed’
later, the helium’s drawn into the lungs for kicks
the question rises: ‘what makes a balloon a balloon?’
this collapsed lung winking on the carpet
seems almost seedy without its gas.

Still, over the green sea you rose again,
fingertips dusted with done day’s beef monsters,
smiling like an advert against the odds
in the dripping dark of that place,
your flat half pint silhouetted on the windowsill
left like a legacy
to times gone by.