We don’t live in those attic rooms any longer —
hot, small spaces.
The underside of the roof
sloping to such an extent
that a neck would be forever extended
heads tilted sidewards
caught in the moment between upright and reclining
a permanent, coy question.
A scrap of balcony
two tiles wide.
Pull through, legs into a crouch
cigarette in hand
façades fall away
slipping to the traffic below.
The whip of the sky
stinging the eyes.
We came down against our will —
the pull of our hearts
stretching back up the worn staircase
to lay low again on the mattress
a breath off the floor
to roll up in the dirty-warm sheets
to flow around the record player
turning languorously on itself
calling out her old blues, stupidly
to the stacks of manifestos
the crisping flowers
blue and dusty
the sticky, iron breakfast-pan
waiting in a remnant of water.
We will sleep under the sky from now on —
the grass beneath us is cold
and a sycamore towers overhead in the dimming light
transforming inch by inch
into the blackest void of night
darker than the surrounding heavens
that grey and dim
but won’t ever catch the tree.
It is a dense black I could step into
a doorway into the night.
We’re low people now.
Bodies closer to the earth than they have ever been.
Clattering down the stairs
long nails on the balustrade
slipping on the polished wood
six flights down
bursting from the hallway into cobbles and smoke
the door wrenched from the jamb, lying
like a body in the street.