Locked out. by Jessica Brown

The sun burned orange and its touch
Deepened from a careless brush
To a firm hold
And only you
Could hear its groans
As it dragged its curtain down the sky

The red brick blocks
Lining your street
Darkened to red wine teeth
And you sat outside like a crack
On the lips of exurbia’s tired smile

Laughter Chinese-whispered
Through mews and lanes
Rolling rubber and crunching gravel
Swirled the petrol
Pooled on your tongue

With your shiny shoes side-lined
You shuffled your dirty socks up the curb
Like looking for the curves of last night’s sleep
In the bed that’s just a distant dream

Your suit corner tickled ground
Unfamiliar to you now
But that once grazed your skin
When evenings in the wilderness
Kept your young heart beating

You traced the pavement’s shrapnel with a stick
Earth’s bits, sent by silent wind
A ruler line of ants file past and
You wonder if you'll ever slot back in

Doors opened and closed and
You heard the vacuum
(The clock-tick for vagrant ears)
Of someone else's home
Meeting the feral breeze

Your hunger rolled
Through driveways and neighbours
Both dimpled with heavy loads
And through the dancing branches
Delicately lining the street
Hiding the windows
Blocking out synchronised meals

You watched the birds breathe
Drawn to their fragility
But a tiny twitch
And you're alone again
Nature knows your alliance
Is only for one night


Jessica is a writer living in London. Her writing can be found at jessicaebrown.com.