London Poem
by Wisteria Deng

Runestone, volume 4

 After Terrance Hayes

In London from a tube station in Oxford Circus,
one can hear the rhythm of umbrellas colliding
among people with more varied colors in their eyes than
there are in the weeping night sky.
A white girl looks lost
with inaudible groans in her vintage fur coat
and her cigarette looks made of newspaper and the dying
fire and someone is saying I love you to her
again and again. In a tube station
in London anything can happen.
Someone says the tube is the penetrating finger
of the city. Someone says
the Victorians are still alive. I am so
bad at Math I cannot count the number of hours gained
traveling to a country up north. In London
not everyone escapes the rain. Dear London,
dear girl wearing cheap perfume bought
in a Sunday market two days before its permanent
closure, and everyone
writing poems about
and inside and outside the London rain. Dear
people draining the sky
of London, down in a tube station
of Oxford Circus, below Regent Street
where pubs stay open until five in the morning,
and someone is telling me about the sound of rain,
how certain people pronounce “rain”
as “ruin.” I now know
“drink” is a daily toast to the sky and “drink” is to run away.
The city becomes a giant boat in cloudbursts, and broken
dreams—secret hope—jump off
the boat into the drink.
That’s how I think of London. Someone
jonesing for rain until five in the morning,
someone jonesing for ruin.


University of Michigan

Wisteria Deng is a senior, double majoring in psychology and creative writing at the University of Michigan. She is a poet, a mental health practitioner and a daughter. She would not have become a writer without Leslie and Cody. Thank you.   

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