by heart, on foot

You don’t know London until you’ve walked it,
half-cut, heart-broken, during strange hours,
through the clamour of the daybreak markets
where scent of meat slab mingles with fresh flowers.
You don’t know the river until you’ve trudged
its banks in pissing rain, sans brolly,
your body’s atoms remember the flood
in which they frothed during pre-history.
You’ll find no Beatrice in those tunnels
just a Metro pull-out on Cheryl Cole.
On this descent you won’t bump into Virgil,
no heathen genius among these lost souls.
To find yourself, you have to first get lost.
The river veers before it finds the coast.

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