Gull Cars stacked like dusty cups close enough to snatch the stopped cyclist’s cigarette. Paling halide glows and tropical sunset flicker in juxtapose with the driver’s greasy horn and auctioneers’ invective. But watch that parapet of bare wired concrete: the white gull landing paused and posed wings up: a smiling gymnast girl who knows she was perfect. Spotless purity arching in demi-plié to unheard minuets, gliding through dirty dusk, feathering light sweeping grime and sweat, sharing them
On the glass observation floor My whited sailor petrifies my red haired brawling corpse man with his anchor tattoo and thigh smeared with mustard sweating on the clear tiles with a baby's reflexive grip on the rail terrorized by the vanishing point: glass floor fathoms tumbling past doves to spilled wine river shine refracted through feather thin transparency. Two town brasses and sixteen pints of depth statue sobered by skinny skyscraper air; his feet foundation stones holding whole cathedral weights poised on wafers cloud suspended brittle sugar lumps. The wind’s burbling audience and orchestral siren tunings float to the tapered towers tip. His horrored eyes flick humiliated museum loot pinned on glass the heifers brow awaiting the hammer, all is falling, spinning in the fall his belly cramped with the image. I want him to look at me to separate me with his look from the gawping tourists mutter, to allow me to comfort him with my hand on his wrist: but Bristolish his shipmates come roaring, laughing, mocking, busy as terriers ushers hauling off the cardiac as the act continues unclamping dead fingers from the metal delivering him from the glass like a christ some totem pole snatched from a wicked tribe and slung between canoes, erect for dignity.
John Grice writes stories and poetry and lives in London. His work has been included in Prole and Close to the Bone.