Simon Jenner

6 Somerhill Avenue

I’m voting in the imagined shadow
of my demolished house. Straight up
opposite this calico-faced school swaying
next to the developer’s scoop.

I smile my Janus of exile to these candidates
bright in their outdoor faces.
They’re suspect, next to repel
this brownfields landslide of themselves.

Just the doss-house held off millions.
Now the distinguished dove-grey blot
mirrors on the greedy glass spirals who
suck the shaven close salaries of London
to the square root of the old, lived-in spaces.

Too tight to wheeze my asthmatic child’s dust in –
a boy’s stride across the mahogany Thirties
landing would take in three pine lives, fresh sick
with new paint; ghosts of a future haunted
by being for ever cornered.

Here, I can navigate from the garish canopy.
Maybe I voted for time and them, complicit
to quell the tuxedo dinners; a shell of privilege
my years here occupied in a rasp
of bookish dust in the throat.

But I’ve elected the pre-fab vision,
my rosette-dismantled self packed with
these returning officers, who breathe
brickdust, swear in those who tear up
quiet quarters, and look out to a sky-hard
desert studded with giant noon-yellow locusts,
no history lesson to counter their coming
no shade to darken me with language.

Simon Jenner © 2008