I’ve seen the dead rise from Archway Station, stunned
at the rain on the road, the pigeons and the people.
The silent, powered bikes, that coast up the hill
past a phone box shot with weeds, like a hothouse
flower gone rogue. I’ve seen the world without us,
where the walls come draped in velvet moss,
and the tanks have turrets infused with rust, tracks
to the sky like a beetle, flipped on its back and burned.
I’ve been a body on a crossing in a Tokyo street,
running from a shop when the earthquake rocked
and rolled. A neon god, watching, while I joined in
the crowd, crushed and lost. Yet here we are, again.
Sunday morning. The coffee gone cold and the book
still closed. Waiting for the lights to change, a sign.
Nicholas Hogg is the author of Show Me the Sky, and Tokyo, now in production as a Ridley Scott film. His short stories have won numerous prizes and been broadcast by the BBC. Winner of the 2021 Gregory O’Donoghue Poetry Prize, his most recent work features in Magma, Ambit, and The New European. www.nicholashogg.com
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