poems by charlotte mcdermott

The City at Night

I come out at night.

like a fox.

Not sly or cunning. Desperate.

The street is still. Silent. The concrete is cool.

The pubs have spewed out the last of the sots

they stagger home 

stagnate in slobber


It is warm tonight 

The rubbish gives off steam as I filch and scavenge for scraps 

Rats scarper

they have had the best of what is there

I am hungry

The pain slices me

like a bread knife

Even the taxis are asleep

Coppers doze off in their cars

Thugs have hung up their hoodies for the night

smiling in their dreams


I am thirsty

My thirst burns

But I don’t want water

I want to leave

I am afraid of what’s next

I will walk the streets and drink the darkness

then vanish into the morning