The figures move on screen
deep in the Paris demi-monde,
backdrop scenes from a Degas print.
Bars and cops and tarts and pimps
les poules, les mecs, les flics,
the dangerous world of Les Halles.
Irma la Douce with a heart of gold
and Lester the honest cop
all wrapped up in Whitehall farce
costume changes, mistaken IDs -
a period piece from the sixties.
A noise like a cracker, a shot, a whip
forces me up from my seat.
Outside an icicle snaps from the gutter
crash lands on the roof of the lean-to.