i am those last sunbeams refracting harshly off
unwashed council home windows,
the first tentative hiccups of a boiler steaming up the night,
the spare branches liberated from dry tree as the 133 shrugs past.

i am that pile of months-old dust
in a corner of Kennington station’s stairs
(the emergency, in case you’re wondering, is the mortality of my knees)

gluing together two grippy walls
with my sinewy body
what god & devils have bound together
let no anti-climbing paint tear asunder.

my eyes are harsh streetlamps
flickering through green january fog
nudging aimless ghosts past alleyway desire lines.

they may seem quiet now,
but my uneven paving stones are a cast iron skillet,
seasoned with every story whispered here before,
every long job only partly done,
every father home late or not at all,
each makeup-smeared breakup.
i have twisted several an ankle
and stubbed many a toe

and my heart is Cleaver square,
chest heaving with crackling leaves
and i breathe
and i breathe
and i breathe

i am a fox’s gaze,
softly displacing trash upturned by a gentle breeze.
no dumpster dividends here tonight, sorry.

i am a cat, slowly cleaning itself.
judging the lost Deliveroo carelessly mixing
burnt aromas with dry night air.

i am toast rising from hellfire depths to meet knife and butter
before your alarms even begin to shriek

i am crumbling brickwork, ground ceaselessly into salt
for your most hidden wounds,
you jagged brutalist.
i am the roadrunner already beyond that cliff
suspended in mid-air, only because i havent realized yet how far there is left to fall

i am that glint from bared teeth
softly growling from an impossible space between
crumpled old factory conversion and crisp new tower
(mind your own gaps, hmm?)

i am going bump in the night. will you
peek under the bench where you toss restlessly in the amber cold,
checking slyly for monsters to keep you company?