Wild Court

An international poetry journal based in the English Department of King’s College London

Cosmo Davenport-Hines Prize 2023 joint winner: Thomas Storey

Thomas Storey


She hailed a taxi like throwing a coin
like casting a spell like floating
over and above the damp street
like expelling some irretrievable thing

She gave you twenty years of looking back
but the moment dissolves
and the future stifles recollection
until you can no longer resort to forgetting

So return to a city where you can’t help
but see yourself in every window
hanging from every clothesline
rotting in every stairwell

Where the air is still too thick
it vibrates with too much of you
like an axe ringing
with the sound of metal

And when the heat blankets your body
and bricks dangle across the sky
you will stand over a concrete river
inhaling her cigarette traces

And you wonder what sweat told of you then
through so many humid nights
when everything was so heavy
it was already too close to touch