The Way I Grace the Passes

with Jason as my witness
Christmas day’s a thieving
twice. once my time & next
my wishlist: Wustof, steel,
all six inches. that’s never
him pinching our wages.
Jesus! proprietor
full of food & promises.
can I get more than a pursed
lip cursing? I bake I cure I
slice I chutney permission &
spices. & here’s a pretty
drab thanks to grant
the way I grace the passes.
can I get more than a “backs!”
and a “oui chef”, sallow
bleated repeating tickets,
mid-shift Strega neatly?
Chef Matt’s reputation gaining
morsels. I ruin the mousse.
lies in tatters. who cares?
I don’t. rabbit ragu. his top knot
in a fug, gone full raggedy.
knives all jaggy. each run
ragged. swagger potential
as rosemary, garlic, flakes
of chili. everyone’s fucking
each other, innit. regret
is a hole in the wall. fuck it.
time for a bag at a willy-out
party & gyrating, getting
mounted, bitten.
every disturbance
to trace this poem.



Cai Draper is a poet from South London living in Norwich. His work appears in various publications, with a pamphlet forthcoming from Broken Sleep Books.