This thundering volume,
people tight in the economy, gripped
carving out career paths, selling their skin
bound like wire, heart race, heat and 11 hour days.

the bird flight beneath the bridge, a gull
the huge swollen Thames tide licking at the steps
I catch the occasional sky glance up
tell you
Venus is still there.

It’s young men mostly,
oily skin and tired eyes
raking from the filthy streets
of other people’s insubstantial shelter

lungs undone, the air in between the chase
of the road and the coming night time, holding
bunches of keys at the steering wheel

you slam the car door
you have a new coat
you say to yourself that
your job is never the same thing every day
you like working with people
you like working out and about
that i can contact you on your mobile
from 8 am til 9 at night

We see, flat viewing,
a picture frame, family photos, kitchen things,
plasma TV, a drinks shelf, different shaped glasses,
next, one family in 2 box rooms
3 toddlers (all their small shoes lined up in the bedroom)
close up to the TV on
and the landlord arriving
just as we are leaving

everybody owns nobody owns anything
people the world over
hocking their teeth to pay the rent, the
market cushioned in casual clothes here

the land and life that is stolen
and sold back

that you are a seller.

Step out of the car,
the children are clapping
the children are clapping and singing,
bags on their backs
all their lives ahead of them.


Lisa Fannen


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