03/10/19

Precipitation percolates through gap-toothed brick.
Frowning arches sigh fogs of fetid breath;
Caustic sulphur belches.
Saliva stagnates on rough-tongued roads.
The city’s empty belly rumbles.

Sat beside you

Usually,
As more seats become available on public transport,
As the journey goes on,
It’s polite to migrate from your over-crowded cluster;
To spread out.
But I quite liked sitting next to you
In silent non-eye-contact;
Almost feeling the warmth of your body
Between our tightly folded arms
And crossed legs.
You existed only in my peripheral vision,
And I only in yours.
And I hoped you wouldn’t move either.
And you didn’t.
We were careful not to lean on each other,
Or make any kind of physical
Or emotional connection.
And yet,
Every stop that you stayed
Sat beside me
Was a wedding vow.
To me, it was everything
To cherish that closeness–
Even in that bizarre way–
In transit.
Maybe you felt the same as me.
Or maybe you just liked your seat:
By the window,
Facing-forward,
Close to the door.

[28/01/19]

London Trams

They are silent and they scare me.
They pick me up and carry me, unsteady.
I grasp for metal-cold reassurance.
Brace myself.
Knuckles whiten.

We move as one;
Seemless on tracks.
Surrounded by them–
Encased in them–
I am not part of them.
Passenger.

Destinations pass unnoticed.
Others alight whilst I,
Journeying stationary,
Drift
Like ash in slow smoke.

Grip loosens and I stumble–
I do not fall–
But I stumble.

I rebalance;
Stabling.

We travel together.
Neither one of us drives.

[10/01/19]

Missing trains

I hoped she’d miss her train.
She ran faster than me.
She cared more than me.
She was lighter;
Sprinted up station stairs
Two at a time,
Flying in faith and hope.
I, behind her,
Dragged myself uphill.
Clung to the handrail.
Stood stationary
As steps moved beneath me.
Watched her get further away.
As that distance grew,
I became smaller.
She was not aware.
She was never aware of me;
Never stopping to look back.
Her dark hair streaked
Behind her in the air.
Every moment suspended;
Hanging from the invisible,
Undeniable, threads of her
Momentum in the air.
Bright trails of ribbon
In a forest of bodies
That were not her;
Obscuring her from me.
I lost her.
And I stood still.
Content in my acceptance;
Relinquished control.
Knowing I would miss this one.
I hoped she’d missed her train.
When I got to the platform
She was not there.

[10/01/19]