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By: Ella McLeod

About The Poem

I wrote this poem as an unemployed graduate, inspired by the anxiety of that back to school month rolling round once more. The freedom from the institution I’d fought for so desperately was bitter sweet and as the nights lengthened, the days shortened and the temperature dropped I found myself wholly unprepared for the winter before me. But it was ok. Because I had my London.

The Poem

Was I better when I
let panic run metallic over my
let London go quiet in my neck
and swallowed it whole
Digesting every yelled profanity and tire squeal of my city
getting litter under my fingernails?
I’m not sure how I’m supposed to react to things most of the time
find fraud in the frown lines
stretched taut with hanging knickers and
rusty pegs but
when I’m itchy I am most my myself
restless in the too hot room at night;
our too hot dark.
I do try to be honest and happy together
but I think it’s easier to
smell the ammonia in the
stairwell and
feel the furry uncertainty of a
distorted mirror reflection
that is inconstant when I press
it against
the rippling pads of my
knowing that most mundanities
can also be read as
something more

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