As I unzipped myself to confront
one urinal's porcelain worry
it seemed a million urinals slipped
whitely into a cold distance
either side of me.
Jesus, this was a big bog – I felt
lost in it; and O, I was so afraid
that a tall figure would appear and hinder
my ever getting started with my pee –
a pee that couldn't come in company.
So I concentrated
hard on watery thoughts,
drips and dribbles, Victoria Falls.
And then he was there at my side.
O, and a drop had just twitched at my tip
only to slip back startled like a vole – I felt
the tiny thread of it sucked
right into my terrified kidneys.
Then this man unzipped threat;
he pulled out an entire territory
(I know because I looked).
He staked his claim with his sour stink.
It was then that I knew who he was.
I'd seen his name tattooed in blue
on many an English urinal.
A proud stiff British name stating its claim:
O shit – it was Armitage Shanks.
And O God, as I looked down,
to read the inscription
set in the glaze of the porcelain scoop
I was having the misfortune of trying
to piss in,
my heart wet itself; my prick shrank
and stayed as dry as my throat.
I read the name, I read it again:
Twyfords, Twyfords, O what joy!
As Armitage harmlessly zipped up and left I wept.
With my eyes closed and dry; O,
I wept, wept and wept into
pissfull distance of salty oceans.