Walking late Hackney streets, my breath is raw
inside my nostrils, yet cannot be seen
when I breathe out. Piles of leaves have been
swept and then walked through. What was crisp is more
like mulch; when something moves inside the pile
it sounds like whispers still. The whispers build
then stop – the noise of something being killed
efficiently. A head appears, her smile
is not for me. She has such focussed eyes,
pads by my side as if I were not there.
then dashes off. The vixen’s russet hair
stays in my mind. The noise when something dies
fades. To love beauty’s often to ignore
how it exists through deeds we might deplore.