You’ve populated the city with ghosts

whom I wave away like disobedient dogs

that don’t belong to me

having happened upon them on a walk.

‘Shoo, go home now,’

go home to the memories of your creator.

Leave me the unextrordinary park

littered with trash and waste and expired cigarettes,

this is no place for you.

Leave me the darkened warrens of rooms at the top of narrow stairwells

smelling of spilt beer, first date nerves and resounding with

ear splitting saxophone,

you have had your pints here and come and gone and come and gone,

to reside, desultory, elsewhere,

somewhere you’ll haunt in another decade.

Leave me the streets,

glistening with late season snow

checking over my shoulder for approaching one way traffic

and dashing through the red lights

on a borrowed Peugeot road bike with iffy screaming brakes.

So you ghosts begone!

The city emerges for the first time from behind your shroud,

fresh, improbable and lovely,

and oh so foreign.


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