london skies are graphite and aggrieved. here, patrician

chimneys, an ambulance’s blue disquiet; sparrows, flags,

a turbulence of starlings. days we cannot coax our own

bent luck to breathe; no time for bliss or frill, for feeding

pigeons from the windowsill. on days like these fate finds

us peevish, lame, and destined for some penance. or

for coffee’s unprincipled liquorice spree. our tongues

will turn the loamy earth like spades. we know where to

go: away from all the wet brains running their frictionless

mouths; the carbon-neutral haircuts, declaiming their cold

idea. ours is an afternoon’s bruised republic: a creaking

stair, the crooning french, a semi-coherence of weather,

words. where poems come, these cannibal colossi, eat

the flesh that falls from me. art, in carnivorous mufti, puts

out a pristine polar light, as finite as a trial. to remain at

large, and undevoured: this is a skill that’s practiced by few.

to name but two, the girl for whom all smiles are storms;

saint icarus as astronaut. by which is meant both me and you.

laugh. to ricochet round galleries, fugitive, uncivilised;

to aim an erring joy, to walk, to seek, to find, at least to feel.

and underneath the fumbled iridescence of a yellow lamp

invent the crooked, reckless real. london skies emphatic

with fractional glare. where a grass verge is sentenced

to dogs, where the moon is a hooked finger, where the moon

hangs pendant and suggestible, pure as a virgin’s earring,

pure as a medici pearl. we do not see the world the way they do,

want parables and tangerines; velvet lapels, the gold auratic

swell of holy things. to ask *why not? *to push our luck down

alleyways abandoned to their infamy, and saloon bars beneath

a chandelier’s prodigious silly crystalline. to want the world,

in short, entire, and make the asking plush. sweet to an unfixed

occasion of flowers. to lean into adventure in second-hand

shoes. to embrace the doleful spectrum, the fallible and riotous

too. though sometimes we might sit in squinting phobic

at the news, we rise again: wayward, lazarian, to meet

the future anywhere with thirst. god save us,

from the petty spiral of hindsight; from forgetting

under london skies, to count out each shivering,

ostracised star.