The City #3

Rain sluices the many tubes and gutters of the city, carrying filth within the grey deluge, filling tunnels, echoing. Running. Talking. Through it’s towers and looming blocks, monoliths of dripping iron, it lives raw and thick within the brick and stone.

Sometimes I feel it waiting for me, waiting in the fringes of the scrublands, abandoned and rectilinear foundations, its footprints exposed in the wastelands off the hollow roads – I’ll burn golden-roots as the sun hides from the cities nights and grit the names in metal cans, spell it’s senses on the walls. And in the dark, steel myself for the sounds of it’s breath, shuffle of its eyes from empty huts and pissed soaked floors, in yards where it’s malice is freer, where it’s omnipotence is a blank tension in the heights of it’s abandoned eyries, empty but not. Time falls in a grey rain, numb as snow.

I remember the hearth of a home from a long time ago, coals glowing softly, I draw strength from the reverie, and choke down the mounting fear the night brought in barbed bundles, thorns wedded with glass teeth on the concrete. But these impotent techniques manufacture only a grosser and leaner fear, gosimer-steel, indistinct and inarticulate, prevailing and blank, terrifying and black – so when the fear breaks and drags me down I will wretch a sicker and more terrible thing in my empty throat.

The city wills me to become it’s conduit, speak in tongues of barbed-wire and oil, and blunt steel, crushing my teeth – crazy with it’s thoughts, immolant stares, my eyes protest – insanity dreams – white starlight and then a moment of calm the universe resolve, revolves. But there is no starlight, only halogen strung on dirty trunks, crowding me with sulphur-light and the dark beyond is thorough, carrying the storm-river’s load, clutching at my paralysis with great looping wires, copper tendons, taut to lash and to whip, to drag me down, whilst yellow lights hum disaster, flicker six times, then die again, and I am dragged down into the deep.