All Roads Lead to Seven Sisters


I am standing on an upturned bin
looking through the little barred window
into the room that I was born in
& everyone is happy & everyone is asleep
& I pray to a god who keeps on disappearing
& I ask the silent shattered stars above
to make sure that the baby in that room
turns out to be nothing


like me.


I will be reborn several times in my life.
I will be many different people
& wear many different faces
& get a thousand chances to be better:

I will even take some of them

(when I’m being brave, I will pick my chances like cherries roll them between my fingertips undertake inspection for any imperfections & then urgently devour the possibilities that dwell within the cerise skin & try to be better, better, better at this business of living)

(but other times, when I am feeling weak & tired from the fight & am too blind to see the catastrophe in front of me, I will gorge on the ugly ones the dirty, aphid-covered cherries, the bad opportunities that only exist to hurt me, to destroy me: I’ll gobble them up, those bad decisions & make myself sick with the consequences. I’ll wear the juices of those dangerous cherry-chances like lipstick, let all the wasted beauty drip down my chin & spit out the pips &—knowing that I’ve missed a chance to be better—just try my best to not to get any worse)



One day when I walk the Seven Sisters Road / alone
I will see everyone that I have ever known
& everyone that I will ever meet
in my various little lives, they’ll all
combine & line the street

here, where inertia grows on trees,
where a boy got killed over a just-shy gram of coke,
where the inhabitants are broke but the system is broker,
where I saw my first dead body in the back of a Vauxhall Nova,
where Papa carried me to Highbury on his denim-clad shoulders:

my story will be laid out / clear / for me here
for this, this is home
& it will always be
but I’ve got a long way to go
to get to where I’m meant to be.


Originally published by Sledgehammer Lit here.

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