We ride a cosmopolitan storm, a double-decker chaos.
We ride an empire
under the threat of revenge.
Black faces look
and hold secrets
of the coming apocalypse. Shhh.
Don’t tell the queen. Don’t let
Number 10 in on this. Mop your floors,
as though you had resigned to fate. Turn
the other cheek. Allow the old to shit
all over you, as though it were a privilege.
Until the time shall come –
and soon is – when the empire will
expire. Then we shall rename Buckingham Palace,
dredge the Thames to the Atlantic,
so the bones of the Chained
shall clasp the souls of the Owners.
We shall teach taxi-meters
to measure the sins of Homo Superiors
and count the bound cries
tutor the buses to stop
at each ancient landmark scattered
between Zanzibar and here;
reconfigure coin slots
to spit out words like nigger.
Shhh. Don’t tell the queen.
From Magma no. 35, 2006