Penitential

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Sheffield graffiti – artist unknown.

Penitential

Walking barefoot to Paradise Square,
I pass the gym where Japanese students
work their bodies to perfection.

There is no weather, just heat.
I head for the subway to relive old times;
going home from a gig with nothing

on my mind except music,
feel the weight of closed shops,
the concrete walls scrawled with graffiti,

the cheap hotel that promises SLEEP.
A drunk holds out his arms as if to embrace me,
but I know I have to get to Paradise Square,

to kneel before the brand new Audis
parked on double yellow lines,
to look up at those Regency windows

where solicitors in white silk shirts
are working late and receive
the blessing of their immaculate light.

 

First published in The Rialto, No. 85, Spring 2016

 

 

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