say ye go fer a walk near clerkenwell green // say it s november / and the sertraline rattles yer bones like the shackles on jacob marley s wrists // you may be an undigested bit of beef / you think / a blot of mustard / though the night swings gently off the alexander mcqueen buildin / an the time fer thinkin yer happiness unreal has melted intae yer toffee nut latté
the soup digs down between the polymers of the disposable carton ye wanna save fer overnight oats // burrowed within the subatomic / so that the non scratch super absorbent scourer ye use just won t cut it fer the lingerin smella garlic // these are the days before ye can afford bowls / an by then yer anger has pitched itself so far above the fire alarm goin off across the street / that when ye finally fling yer keys across the room an scream that ye wanna die / the fire brigade arrives an you think that they re there for you
the streets here lie thick as forest strata an dumber than god / though t night they luk well // in an alley behind yer flat / a man nods off with his trousers round his ankles // a security light flashes agin the brown brick tenement facin intae the courtyard / and as ye drift off t sleep / ye whisper to yer girlfriend that it reminds ye of rear window
JAMES PATTERSON is from Newry in the north of Ireland. Recent poems have appeared in Poetry London, Poetry Ireland Review, The Poetry Review and The Stinging Fly, among others. In 2019 he was a recipient of the Eric Gregory Award.