The Mezzanine

When I brought my girlfriends home
we would sit below the mezzanine
and listen to music.

And I’d get a book of paintings or photography,
but usually photography,
and we’d look at it together.

My parents had a copy of
The History of Rock’n’Roll.
It was large format and had full-page photos.

From the relatively normal environment,
with Mum or Dad peering down at us
occasionally over the edge of the mezzanine,
I liked to point to what was dangerous and sexy.
And who was.

Janis Joplin wore a crazy hat.
Jimmy Hendrix had leather trousers
and long tassles on his suede jerkin.

Lou Reid stood in profile.
His T-shirt outlined his muscles
and he held the brim of his biker cap.

David Bowie wore a feathered and sequined
one-piece suit with a zip that ran
from chest to crutch down the front.

This was all quite normal, I wanted to say.
We are dangerous and sexy people.

I played the strangest music I could find
in the record collection.

We sat on the floral sofa.
We drank coke from sodaflo bottles.

And when it was time to go,
I walked them to the door.