london

(Not a home, I said.
An address.
The badges and the blossoms
Bragged ‘excess’.

Etched into every tree

The word:

S U C C E S S)

I am London
And he is me,
Not ever knowing which London to be,
A button eyed orphan,
A one man band,
A Dickensian madman
Whey-faced and untanned.

I was a Ruby Infant,
(Montpelier)
Via turreted school
(Machiavellian lair)
My conspiracy of ravens
The guardians of lore,
Falling in feathers
To a barbershop floor.

My mind is confetti –
From each Westminster wedding,
Each pill, each stumble,
A little be-heading.
I first kissed a girl in Trafalgar Square
And the memory of her is still there in the air,
In the backdrops of photographs snapped up by tourists,
In the lost eyes of pigeons,
(I know it, I’m sure of it –
because I love London
And he loves me –
We flow into each other
Like the Thames, to the sea).

Gobstopper blowjobs in Whitechapel lanes,
Knee-deep in the streets, leaving opal-ghost stains,
The bleeding graffiti of Mary Jane Kelly,
Our deaths, our murders,
So many, so many…

Bells,
Chiming,
Dark
Oubliettes,

Cradle me, London,
My thorny silhouette,
Settle me down
in your newspaper bed,
Love me,
Watch over me,
And when I am dead,
Make me a martyr,
Smooth out my head
Swallow me up in your gum-studded streets,
Somewhere busy where I can feel millions of feet
Treading into me,
Over and
Over again,
And every so often, now and again,
Play out your bells for my syllables four,
Ding dong ding dong
Four and no more,
To remind yourself, London,
Of silly old me,
Who like you,
Never knew,
Which London to be.

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