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by John Stocks

We have run out of evening,
And this is how the night evolves:
Outside the Lead mill the hoar frost thickens,
Even the late-night cafes have closed.

On high bridges, desperation gathers.
We hear the saddening drone of the wind.
A voice in my head that sometimes screams,
‘You fool, you have wasted so much time!.’
Now only the clamour of your silence,
The sound of my footsteps will take me home.

Earlier I had turned and glanced to find,
You with your head down in the queue,
No more than thirty steps behind,
Your face distorted by the half-light,
Like some apparition from a dream.
We are what we think of, more or less.

Soon the last black cab will sneak back home,
Leaving the streets to Cops and whores,
And all the sinister poisonous dregs,
The dealers, the lost soul-stealers,
Muggers and rapists, waiting in the wings.

And I will shiver, still thinking of you,
Watch some sinewy fox streak home,
A black shadow across the frozen ground,
A streak of pure existence, nothing more.
Life, it seems, is still an adventure.
In the distance, some fat woman sings.

Copyright © 2012 by John Stocks

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