The men are hanging around the backstreets, like they did when they were boys
uninterrupted now by school or wide waisted shouting mothers
beckoning them home for dinner and bed.
There is no need now for secretive smoking, and the cheeky calls to passerby’s
have taken on a leering and sinisterly threatening air
darkened by hopelessness and disappointment.
These men are the faces behind the numbers, the real world result
of the consuming greed that used them up
and spat them out to be forgotten.
With nothing to do they drink and fight, armed with their own pointlessness.
At midnight the Guards come and move them along
to be somebody else’s problem.