Return of an Ex. – Gwil James Thomas

It’d been years since she’d even crossed my mind
and then suddenly she’d appeared in front of me,
in the frozen foods section of Lidl –
we caught up and she told me about
her husband and her son and I told her about
the cities that I’d lived in over the years.

It was clear that the girl I’d once known had gone,
but as she talked some memories came back to me –
like the time that I picked her up in my old banger,
after I’d spontaneously spray painted
the word KILL across the bonnet
and how to my surprise she’d found it hilarious,
or the way that the radiator by her bed
would shudder when we’d fucked,
or how I learnt to play songs on the guitar
by bands that I’d hated and she’d adored,
or of the evening that she’d left me and the pain
that I’d dragged out trying to get over her
and how one day that had just disappeared
like our youth and there was something wonderful,
horrible and fucking stupid about it all.

Eventually we said so long again and I paid for
my shopping and wandered back to my car,
where I stopped and glanced at the clean bonnet –
glad that the boy I once was had long since gone,
even if I was going to buy a can of spray paint
on my ride home.