the narrow window

Inside a house with one high narrow window
she sees the red light of another dying day.
A glowing rectangle, creeping up the wall.

Swollen with longing
she jumps up again and again,
scratching the wall, breaking her nails
until she catches the sill and
somehow manages to pull up, push the window open and
squeeze through.

Out on the roof
the sky is burning red
the sun huge and low, the sea already black.
She stands in the fading rays,
herself a darkling flame.

Hot wind dries her face.
All around, stretching to the edge of the sea,
other house, other roofs darkening.
A million million boxes in the dark.

She balances on the edge of the roof.
The house suddenly shudders beneath her, and she sees for the first time that
it is built on pebbles.
It has no foundations.
It is sliding towards the sea.

In panic, she staggers back up the loosening tiles to the window –
but the window has gone.


islington substation




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