Longlisted Poem 2013

Albinia Stanley

Forest School, Walthamstow, London

Breaking Habit

After Thom Gunn
They went to bed
that night like any
other and to sleep
too in thick pink
light of London
morning. The
pricking hairs and
heat a comfort
their tiny separate
entities of
experience
expected.

In the pre-rush
hour hours, when
the city’s littered
blocks are lined not
with young lovers
but salt spreaders,
street sweepers,
the slag of summer
nights, drifters and
shifters who bring
home the dawn,

If awake you would see
Detailed in delicate difference
Among the lamp halogen glow
The divisions of falling snow.

Waking is a searing
smooch of white
on glass. Beyond his
coalescing garden,
the city is parading
in uniform.  He cannot
care that I am gone
when in his dreams
he lies in my imprint.

I know now:
Transformation is more ex-
acting through another’s
window. Not from two-to-
one,
but into that white,
bright realm, where we
shine with everyone.
© Albinia Stanley

Project Details

  • Date January 7, 2015
  • Tags 2013 The Details - Longlisted Poems