Lonely Bones, by Lorraine Carey

London’s Eye can see into your soul,
the metal mammoth a fixture
of your lifetime. Gathering at fountains
on Saturday nights, clutching at camaraderie
with forced fervour, weekend drunk and lonely.
The brown envelopes leftovers hinge on a Soho visit,
strip club or a jostle in your local, as Cockneys harp
about market stall trends, or Arsenal, or Everton,
Misplacing accents as you swallow your own,
toning it down for others, when all you crave
is a sense of belonging.

You miss the incessant screech
of herring gulls, squabbling at the dock,
the chug of trawlers, loaded to the scuppers.
Netted bowels heaving with their silvery catch.
Scales like glints off a blade,
shimmering in rays.
Betty from two doors down,
proffers the only net you’ll see now,

cushioning the sparse wisps of her blue rinse.
Smells smash into you, street scents raid your senses
Your memory bank at odds with dilisk and sea salt,
thick on a sticky breeze.
The tube station hell, midlife
and monotony herded up escalators,
anonymity in headphones and at war with you.

No nosey neighbours here,
their shop counter reports
of the recently deceased,
weather forecasts
delivered with gusto.
Instead, the apparitions flit by
at dusk and dawn, shadows floating
with jangled keys, lunged in the lock,

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