I feel my heels clack on the pavestones

Hard and metallic almost

But their ringing is

Dampened so I can

Barely hear it through the


It clouds in on my eyes so I have to

Blink again and again

Driving my hands into

My pockets to keep the

Blistering cold at bay

Breathe slowly

So the air, super frozen

Doesn't burn through my throat

And surge into my chest

Catching there

Like fog in a bell jar

I touch my fingers to my lips

And it comes away with

A smear of crimson

Adorning the useless, once nimble tips

Red on white

English colours

Like a flag of life

And death

I bite my lip again

Ripping the skin away

Where its chapped and

Leaving my lips dark and

Slightly swollen

And ripe


The sky is flat

Bleached and stained

Like my skin

Stark white like canvas

So bright I can barely breathe

Frozen in places

To a livid purple and mottled red

Until the sun goes down

And the gunpowder-woodsmoke-rain

Surges back into the air

As if held back by the snow bright sky

And now released

By the smooth dark

And the stark orange lights

That stream their cloak around my shoulders

Bathing me in a fresh shroud

I push my way through the rosehips

That spray over the steps

Like fingers almost

But kinder, gentler

With the promise of warmth and comfort

My feet touch the drenched grass

And I smile

And dig out my keys