Vauxhall Vignettes

To Josh Hepple.

Vauxhall Bridge (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Marc Barrot)


The wind whips up the Thames,
while a huddled passerby finds a bench
& speculates in skyward rises.


Prescription bottles line pockets,
then dot the ground like die.


The sunset flung
incandescent at the skyline
kindles dimly through the gray haze
& what light is left
the asphalt battens on.


Birds trade twigs for scraps of plastic,
& spikes line windows in wait for them.


A waterlogged sailboat docks,
& stillness loiters silently
at the side of a restaurant,
where the cool humidity
finds a cigarette, once flickering
red at the fingertips, & smothers it—