Wednesday, 24 August 2016

New York, a summer ago

When it's too hot
(oppressively so; clingy, sticky, messy
heat like this)
I'm minded of New York, that
summer when I ran away

and the streets
were so hot, so impossible, I thought
I'd melt,
like human ice cream,
clean away into the tarmac.

The stink of it, the crowd of it, the rush of steam
from mirage-shimmering
subway grates still
stings my nostrils even
now - brings back those days when
I longed
for the sky to burst and
free the cloud-pent
electricity -

and reminds me of the fractious,
temporary love I
felt there, that boiled and blistered in my heart,
with something like
and joy in equal measure,

like taking someone else's (better, sexier) life
and trying it on, just to see how it fit,
just because I could,
then discarding it
when I was done.

Now I'm in another city (home, you
could say) with
another sea to hold me in, and
the stink is different
but the heat's the same,
swelling veins on the surface of my hands, turning skin
pink, the memory boils again.

The sweat will settle, inescapable,
just like then, and
I'll slow cook on the train
and think
of that summer when I ran away.


  1. Brilliant, I really felt the oppressive heat.

  2. very good! the stink is difference but the heat's the same!