Peckham Rye Lane

by A.K. Blakemore

The sun, today –
it leaks desperation,
Gunmetal droplets of perspiration

gather.

 

I take the bus – through Peckham.

 

Knickers lie flaccid

in Primark.

Like salted jellyfish – tentacle pink,

grandmother mauve

 

briny in £2 racks of rainbow.

 

Peckham Rye lane is tight

as damp and crammed as a coconut shell

 

afro combs and mobile phones in the white heat –

punctuated cornrows and seed beads,

cornflower scrunchies, liquorice weaves.

 

The delicate babies in KFC,

children, plaid-dressed children,

wailing, clutching drumsticks like weapons.

 

Underfoot

the pavement is a gruesome meat,

each person is a sturdy hairbrush bristle on its surface.

 

Angels gaze from the treetops

like William Blake

 

and radiate

 

comfort.