Andrews Corner

by Kayombo Chingonyi


Andrews Corner

I

 

Where an old man comes, to practise

standing still, tutting

that the street he fought to keep is gone

and, sixty years on, he doesn’t belong

to this world of bass, blasting out of

passing cars, and earshot, at the speed

of an age when pubs close down

overnight; are mounds of rubble in a week.

 

II

 

Where flowers moulder in memory of Tash,

fifteen, her twenty-something boyfriend

too drunk to swerve and miss the tree,

girls own their grown woman outfits,

smile at boys who smell of weed and too much

CK One. Pel, who can get served, stands in line.

Outside his friends play the transatlantic

dozens; the correct answer is always your mum.

 

III

 

Where alleys wake to condom wrappers,

kebab meat, a ballet pump, last week

a van pulled up and it was blood. Today:

joggers dodge a dead pigeon, offer wordless

greeting to the night bus’s army of sanguine-

eyed ravers, nursing bad skin and tinnitus.

Goaded by the light, past the same house on repeat,

they think of taking off their shoes; inviolable sleep.