By Siddartha Bose

She hones

I hurled you
Into my arms, the
Cat in my voice a queen.

You, ever in reserve, shied.
Around us, East London took effect—
A Pole, two Sicilians, married, two Greeks drinking Cobra beers,
Fang in hand, Emily the scouse violinist, a German who
Thought Berlin too small.

As we floated like
Bottletops, scrap-paper, haymoss,
Towards the estuary where Bethnal Green meets Brick Lane, I
Felt I’d lost my wallet.
I, artisan.


He groans

You order me, again, to
Glen them to a bar where two summers ago Naphtali
Spun me in axes.
(You’ll be there in a minute, you say.)

I lead your followers past bagel shops, hookah bars, offlicence glory,
Cops prowling, the becoming dinosaur of the overhead rail, the
Bombed remains of
Cheap vinyl, soggy crêpes, torn jeans, pillpoppers.
I am a helicopter.


She streaks

Cityboys them fucked off.
As I walked towards you, ma money in ma pocket, through
Graffitishocked streets, colours
Bled me with the damp of a morning star.

Squatters them sclattered in the
Dungeon of a broken house, peeled windows.
Some paint on scorpio bodies. Others hiss on cheap blow.
My eyes trance in redn’green shapes.

This poem was published in City State: New London Poetry (Penned in the Margins, 2010), which showcases the work of 27 London writers.