Collin Kelley

In Tavistock Square

I am sleeping in the corner of your ghost house, Virginia.
Your Blitz-bombed house now a hotel full of rooms,
not of one's own, but for a parade of never-ending strangers.
I rub my hand over your hard, slick head in the square,
wet with summer rain, your hawkish nose turned toward
the other bomb site, the metal bus a twisted bloom.
Dickens wrote Hard Times on the other side of the trees,
and I find that living here is hard and has no time
for idealistic, broke dreamers. He wrote Bleak House there, too.
I am stubborn, Virginia. I come back again and again
even as this city pulls me close and pushes me away,
in love with bellow and uproar; London; this moment of June.
Perhaps I should reconsider the scattering of my ashes,
commit them to the breeze that blows through Bloomsbury.
Make me fertilizer; plaster; eye grit; nowhere; everywhere.


Artwork on this page:
Detail of Climbing the giant
63 x 32.5" oil on wood, 2006
Irene Hardwicke Olivieri

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