The Black Tower



From the black tower, honeycomb

tomb, empty windows stare at us

like charred eye sockets. What did this?

A fridge wanted to be a stove

and flung the oven door open

to hell. The fire squirrelled upwards,

sideways. It must have roared and raged

around you. We saw you waving,

screaming from windows. Told to stay,

you either choked to death on smoke

or roasted alive in your rooms.

The tallest ladders in the city

couldn’t reach you. Now smoke’s no longer

pullulating, we can see clearly.

Far, near, glossy towers stand

clad in combustibles that went up

like a flare in the night. Grenfell,

your warped façade’s the melted-off

face of our illusions. We thought

we lived in a different country.



by Mark Kirkbride


Mark Kirkbride lives in Shepperton, England. His debut novel Satan’s Fan Club is published by Omnium Gatherum. His short stories can be found in Under the Bed and Sci Phi Journal. His poetry has appeared in the Big Issue, the Morning Star, the Mirror and HWA chapbooks.

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