Concrete carbon copies
stamped with steel balconies.

Children’s bikes:
journeys stunted by dustbin fires
and threats that come out with the stars.

You have learnt to crawl and to scavenge and to hide,
you wear your fear like notches on a belt
until it fades into weariness.

There is someone who has to light the candles on tabletops.

The city is alive,
but the people sacrifice their heartbeats
to sustain hers.

There goes Samuel Peyps:
cannot afford a train fare,
electric went off yesterday,
the gates close at twelve.


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