Did you get taken to the park?
I close up shop, smokers by the shutters
my ex walks me to Tottenham Marshes at night
past the kayak school where he had a girlfriend
and they were both English
he points out the bit where she took his virginity
it’s as if the brown is still dark from their impression
instead of birds all I hear is his voice, instead of trees
ducking town – we approach water and instead of ripples,
that voice, down my mouth, through the inny bits of my ribs,
taking up shop
girl open your mouth, go register
I think I might die here today
If I did I’d join a line of bullet Turks, so Cypriot
they laughed on the way down.
At this hour there’s no Babington’s poppy, no bee orchid.
The bridge above the River Lee projects
in mid air it is a spectral transposition
light bouncing off water,
its concrete source half as beautiful.
Six feet two, a foot apart
shadows wingman him but tail me
Another night here, uncle-boss laughs from the soil
to new cashier brothers, green with buzzing doors.
He tells me how the water is deep
how the council don’t do enough to dredge it
I want to say I am being threatened but instead
I’m – wow that’s unbelievable, look at that view, thank you
TICE CIN is an interdisciplinary artist from North London. A recipient of a London Writers Award for Literary Fiction, Cin’s debut novel Keeping the House is out with And Other Stories.