Something of the faded dandy

hangs about God’s moth-eaten evening coat,

his worn-out cloth-uppers.

He seems to be cruising lost time

in search of fellow flâneurs

who might remember him

from the good old days

before he dyed his hair. He holds out

a threadbare mauve suede glove

as if begging forgiveness

from the crowds of memories

pushing past him in the street.

Thinking I’ve seen him before somewhere

and feeling vaguely ashamed

of the white silk handkerchief

overflowing the pocket of my suit,

I slip him a few quid

to buy himself a coffee and croissant.

A sudden violent shudder

passes through God’s frail form

as he turns himself into

a flowering magnolia tree,

its creamy white petals bending low

in seasonal farewell.