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Rush Hour

My mind is like the tube at rush hour
I fear
passengers pulsating on the platform will push me onto the tracks
Don’t know how
I manage
to get into a carriage crammed with crowds at King’s Cross
nowhere to move sit or breathe
no courage to ask
Heavy air fetid with
onion armpits smelling like gas
Costa Coffee breath
fast food
chesty coughs rattling to the rhythm of the carriage
I feel
the press the weight
eyes avoiding judgment and feelings
Music escapes the cupped hands of headphones muffling the mouth of sound
Stifling heat makes my sweat slide
down into the small of my back

Cold air slaps my cheeks burns
my fingertips when
I exit Wood Green tube

I move sit and breathe freely
at home
when night falls
does home feel
like the aftermath of a burglary?
There are spaces where my possessions used to be
my living room looks like it has been raided by a fox
the detritus of food and torn packages strewn over floors and furniture
An acrid smell invades like
when we used to come home from clubbing
in the ‘90s
hair, skin and clothes choking on cigarettes
I fear
I will not wash the smell of the smoke out
the burglars will return

filled with dawn’s light
the tube carriage empty
the air lift
the burglar get arrested tried and convicted
never to return
at least for now.