Sidewalk Song

Nothing like a morning’s rain for some exploring.
The feet twined beneath me are still, but in my mind
I have already walked thousands of miles to the swish
of tyres on the wet road, a city’s predawn hymns.
Somewhere in the distance, the curve and sigh of the streets
becomes a smile. They say that these very stones are alive,
but I do not think they meant the way my feet trace the concrete
arches of your brow, tapping out the lovely lines
of your cheeks. I am no cartographer, and yet here my morning song
is writing a map of ground both familiar and foreign.

With each step, the city rises with me, poised on a breath
before the minutes rush down to meet the day. One does not
usually write to the soundtrack of grey, but all things are lovely,
and possible in the low light. Monochrome is an ugly word, true,
but it has not looked for the raven on the roof, or the stark yellow-blue
of the waiting tour bus, or the tiny golden pinpricks of souls stirring in rooms.
Something here speaks of the light of your gaze, but the colours are wrong:
those can be shaded in, slowly, but imagination is a poor substitute
even as longing paints everything with the hues of want, and loss.

Outside, the hours peep through their lattice of window frames.
Waiting. The day feels monstrously long, but need is easier in small doses,
each fragment weaned from shadow, and kissed by the knowledge of sun.
Desire must be traversed quietly. The thrumming current of the city
is a different, spinning terror in the madness of morning, and I know
some travels can only be made by the light of the moon.
Tonight I chased the sound of your footsteps through the shade, and turned
the corner onto the same familiar street on which
so many of these journeys end, standing, breathless,
at the doorstep of my hopes.
Then, a knock. Awake the day. Hush.

Sophie Chew is an undergraduate law student, feminist, aspiring Classicist, and thoroughly amateur poet based out of a tiny flat in London. A native of Singapore, she won the Angus Ross Prize in ‘A’ Level Literature in 2011, and now divides her time between tussling with Ancient Greek grammar and teasing inspiration out of the everyday. She has never been published.

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2 Responses to Sidewalk Song

  1. Michael Martin says:

    A lovely poem, Sophie–and welcome to the world of published writers!

  2. Sophie Chew says:

    Hello, Martin! Thank you so much for your kind words. I look forward to earning my place here.

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