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my mother raised me
on the railscream
of the underground
and the long walk
through london town
to see the bright lights
and smell hot fat on
the bridge which swayed
over the pulsing thames
which birthed this place in
steel and blood and
stolen sweat, the sugar
dripping in by the
cool sweet kiss of an
iron and timber and
hempen catheter
and other things which
were not ours to claim
my mother showed me
art of a land of
green pastures and white
sheep and honeyed skies
while out the tate's high
small windows the sky
rumbled like traffic
that ran below and
was grey like the city
and burned when the sun
died in the east and
mocked the neon glow
over those hunched
and ragged and cold
and lost without a
home to crawl into
to hide from my city
of mounted statues
of nameless dead men
charging through the riddled,
rotting, calcified corpse
that is old london town
and i call myself londoner
not because i love this place
or am proud of
surviving it or
the way i cross
through the holes and
crevices of this ten-faced
godbody of countless
generations of othered
but because this city
is in my flesh
and in my heart
and the people, numb,
cold and distant and
dangerous like
creatures or predators or
immune cells fighting
amongst themselves
are as i am
and it is in my lungs
and my blood, the
microplastics and
CO2 in my meat
tainting me here, now,
however far, however long apart,

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