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.