That amount exactly

He dreams of English girls
of how much he misses them
and wakes up missing them
by that amount exactly.

He is awash with a longing
for the out of reach
not just across the distance
but because of the time gone
a longing too far away to find
and getting further every day.

He first made love to a girl
when he was fifteen
a very serious affair it was
for almost six months, eternity.

Fifteen years later he finally left
England for America
and fifteen years later
he is still there.

In this way his experience with the female sex
is very balanced between here and there
although, perhaps understandably
he thinks (and dreams) of English girls
but American women, which, again
reflects his own history.

Pound for pound he prefers American women
but he does miss English girls
and the way they sound.

As with so many other poor Americans
he falls under the sway of an accent
although in this case it is his own.

In his dream he is sitting in a small café
in Ravenscourt Park which is just along
from Hammersmith in West London
(for those who don’t know).

His same fifteen year old girlfriend is with him there
but they are both as they are today.
They drink lemon tea and talk of all that has happened
to them, to their lives since then.
Of how innocent they had been as almost children
blundering in the world.
How easy and stupid and happy and hopeful
unthinking, they’d once been.

She says: “It takes so long to learn
how you should have done the things you did
and when you do its too late then
to do those things that once were done
so differently to how you’d do them now.”

And he thanks her for letting him know that regret
can bring forgiveness as easily
as it does sorrow.
They woke better friends.