Hello London

by Ahren Warner

Just as – shifting the Double-Gauss a notch – the clarity attained is not
                   what appears, but how what appears does,

so l’étranger is not this man in the window just off the Euston Road,
                   but rather a shifting in this me that is.

And, what held for Louis holds true for me. In my teens, you were
                   ‘foreign names over winking doors’;

marred, perhaps, but only by the Thames’ mean gust, slate-stolid réveil,
                   that bite I came to need.

Still, it’s been years since I came to you, a little less since you began
                   to nibble, then gnaw, then masticate.

I don’t know if I got out or was spat. But, somehow, I’m back: transient,
                   for now, a fleeting whiff,

amuse-gueule, faint stirring of your parotid. Soon, I promise to be
                   here – at your leisure, to lick and lap –

                   your spittle shiver now blain, now numb dread.