Photo by Anton Murygin on Unsplash
In the backstreets the foxes are synchronised swimmers- unaware they are in the same pool, unaware they are doing the same thing. Crossing pot-holed Grasmere Avenue, Poplar Place, Glastonbury Road. Light muzzled, shagged amber fur- thief-footing the pavement. On bin night they stay close to the kerbside. Waiting for the withering of lamplight, waiting at corridors of dusky lanes- amber eyes pickled by TV screen lights. We will listen to them later, at 1:17, 2:53, 3:45am turning the bins over tearing the innards from the food waste’s plastic stomach. Victorious, screeching fucking next to eggshells found the next day- broken bodied and kowtowed, collapsed at the heel of a tyre.
In the back garden my sister-in-law is cutting my hair with the kitchen scissors. An ice-lolly squats in my fingers. I am sitting on a chair. She puts her hand on the crescent of skin exposed on my back. Strands dust the fabric like pine needles. The sound of its jaw, metal sluicing metal is thick, not clean. My pulse is in no hurry. Another thick-bottomed snip. Mowers fell the lawns of South London. Another dead basil plant is upturned near the looping garden hose- seed and soil mixed over sandpaper concrete. A fly drowns in a bucket of water. There are many ways to cut someone’s hair, to hold the nape of a neck gently- the tender heartburn of a long afternoon heavy in that finger. The day lowering its kiss, becoming milky- catching an exhale of breath or wind.