Cartography — Tomoé Hill

When is the wedding? slurs the homeless man,

you make such a beautiful couple.

His comrades merry in their soused chorus:

the streets of Charing Cross by day

a painting of a peasants’ celebration.

Why not, in this city

of false prophets, charlatans and fools,

skeletons and demons, or money men and politicians

shouting down from Babel?

You and I, we have wandered this city, lost

like the fools in love we were

mapped, marked and layered it

with our scent, desires

and unrequited lust

our compass leading us astray

stained it with memory so we walk

and think of the blackened blood of WC2A

the sugar of SW1X, wines of WC2N

the widened eyes and nervous kisses of EC1R

and Russell Square to Knightsbridge to Regent’s Park

standing overheated in crowded trains

while you create references

tracing fingers down my spine, along my throat,

not caring about other cartographers’ eyes.

Our lovers’ maps are indelible

until these kingdoms fade

and place erodes, leaving nothing

but the ghosts of scent and touch.


but you will disappear like the rest.

Tomoe Hill lives and writes in a converted lunatic asylum near London. Her last short story, “Peripheries”, was featured in The Stockholm Review of Literature. She is reviews editor at Minor Literature[s]. @CuriosoTheGreat.