wheezing, this city too is
beating, the corners
of its eyes ablaze
with traffic, the pur
of car radios turned
down to a chorus
of flies, leaking, drowsy
and diesel-grey into the dank
air – clinging there, slinking
through walkways, climbing, flitting
into crevices; it lies
there, growling in the moss-blue
shelter of the birds, arid
as sleet, sharpened
to a gale, a ship has been
beached, shell
shocked, just out of the river’s
tongue. the current
screeches, arches
her spine, clawing
at space to touch
the stern, snakes
away, seething, lips
flaking with thirst
like a wrestler’s; breathless

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