She watches the night.

Free leaves spin in furious circles

and tap the glass that harbours him.

A gust whips around the corner
to quench the sodium, it fizzes to a blackout.

Its wrought iron shade spiders and sways,
the stem of the lamp post barely visible.

A broken clock juts from the long-abandoned bar,
its hands loose in the wind.

He turns from the night that seeks to leak
through wheezing window,

jumpy in a frame that rattles
in disharmony with the squall.

Traces of moon slice the clouds
that fill the sky with downy darkness,

they creep across his mirror,
haloing him as he passes.

He smothers the light across the door saddle
and closes the curtains to contain incantations.

He gives in to Her.

Shrink to Fit

He doesn’t fit, in his ill-fitting clothes.
His too-big Crombie a part-time pillow,
blanket, shelter, sometimes just a coat.
His sodden socks exist
by a lucky array of stitches,
housed in leather that yawns at the toe
as he tramps through puddles that trespass,
to dampen his mood.

He stares down the barrel-like bottle,
its pit-like depths
draw him into the opaque greenness,
the fingerprinted label
peels in the spilling rain
to top up the puddles
that dampen his mood.
Lost in the bagginess of his trousers
he ties the twine tighter.

Dearest reader! Our newsletter!

Sign up to our newsletter for the latest content, freebies, news and competition updates, right to your inbox. From the oldest literary periodical in the UK.

You can unsubscribe any time by clicking the link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or directly on info@thelondonmagazine.org. Find our privacy policies and terms of use at the bottom of our website.