Flats, by Patrick Williamson

I am not a silent poet

To fill in the flat’s silence
I watch the couple across the courtyard
who’ve just moved in,
then turn round and put on the muezzin.

He was doing the washing up,
she was walking into the kitchen,
in slippers, carrying the booze.

I swig some camel milk, a new recruit
in a kitchen full of electronics,
the flat chock full of sticks and tape;
one of me, many of them.

And I’m waiting for the call home.

In the book, they promise a land of honey
virgins, praise, a fresh start.
But I wish the path would be different.

I nod & tap the floor, the key turns,
& I am relieved,
they’ve come to get me, I can break the silence
even if just to rant.

As I struggle, I want to shout
do y’know what you’re getting into?

He takes a bag down from the top shelf
whips…

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