This poem is part of the SPOONFEED takeover of New Writing, curated by Kat Payne Ware and Sean Wai Keung. You can read the issue in full at spoonfeedmag.com/spoonfeed-x-new-writing
Smell of fermenting turnips in the carriage,
of cumin on the escalator. To have
an odour that particular. What’s mine?
It isn’t air, so done with this city,
clutching the Ventolin, down Baylis Road –
muggy, filthy choke – to sag before
the chiller cabinets striking cold
into my soaked t shirt, too much to choose from.
Cold sheets. Was it the beer? Sweat – mine, sharp, sour –
a chronicle-artifact: Face flaming, laughing,
voice high in the throat, hands all over him,
astounding fact of the body. The pub,
the night, the whole city – 24-
hour gym, open car window – perspires,
respires our animal life. And the dear one,
snoring beside me, smelling of baked beans.