Some new pain hides behind the veil of those
Dreaming spires. Some silent assassin poised
Lying in wait.
Hiding in ink, circling
Stale pages in the closed stacks, lingering.

Invisible sylphs ask us to choose: to
Swallow toxic cyanide, or else taste
The most sullen, bitter memory of
Broad Street, overflowing, over the brim, with
Late to a tute
Blem outside the Kings Arms
Is that the Rad Cam???

All people, weighed down by bullet-sized smiles.
We’re wading through smoke, caustic chloroform,
Until paralysed, until parasites
Infect our blinking, saccharine eyes.

The same eyes that looked upon benign red brick
With aspiration, see it crumble like sand
Falling between fingers, feverishly slipping;
As fast as the sweet trance of sleep.

Who dares wonder whether we’ll cross bridges,
Who’ll be the first to neck golden pints, or
See the impossible black of a mortarboard?
Who’ll ask if it’s too brave to dream again?