Was She Worth It? Part 1

1.

Two men in love, alas, not with each other –
one’s fine, the other’s fit — but both are set
on Emily, who idolises numbers;      
The Elephant, South London, is the set

whose shopping centre was to be demolished
but, darlings, retro-branded by a queen             
who sprayed it glitter pink so now it’s ‘stylish’.
Pink’s The New Red the national headlines scream.

And on its seventh floor sits Bingo Palace
more palace, now, than bingo. Her Royal Highness
gambles – but I’m digressing – roll the cameras,
roll out the fuchsia carpet. In its highest

tower, two men moonlight as bingo callers –
‘The Blues Brothers’, a double act, in debt
but dressed up to the nines. A million dollars
enters the hall. They haven’t seen her yet.

The first, so striking, he could stop a bullet,
a roman nose distinguishes his face;
the second has the body of a ballet
dancer, moving with a swan-like grace.

The mirror ball is spinning and the players
sparkle with youth, forgetting who they are –
the Dancing Queen with two left feet, the famous
Two Fat Ladies guzzling at the bar.

Two men enter the stage as something fatal
enters the hall. A pause, and they begin
their double act that poses as a battle
of numbers, short and rounded, tall and thin.

They’ll fall in love and fall out with each other,
they’ll fall without a parachute or net,
and both their hearts will break. What are their numbers?
One’s One, the other’s Two. The stage is set.

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