by John Widdop
Loneliness lies screaming in his mother’s arms and
this is Łódź in the morning.
The city yawns and cracks her jaw and
it’s another day of living chalked up on the board.
Go go girls going home, cross paths with ghosts and
those, those unfortunate souls, whose daily chores being
at early doors
Tadeusz cracks his knuckles, utters “fuck this” and
transforms his persona from closed to open
tapping and drumming his
thumbs on the counter. Who’s first?
Emptiness crowds the block’s corners and like mourners
we wait for the tram.
This, this is Łódź in the morning.
The ghosts collapsed on benches, did I say, did I mention
the alley cats chatting in the flanking alleys?
Drama outside the Naleśnikarnia, a fistful of karma and
it’s another morning of living passed from hand to hand to hand
in the hostels and inns, heretics and their sins
draw blinds as the sun rises above the spires and
telegraph wires and the tram sighs as it arrives. Who’s first?
Drowsiness flaps like a jackdaw, bell of Tadeusz’s shop yells and rattles
bottle of Lubelska spilling on the sills.
This is Łódź in the morning.
Olek and his gut interrupt Gosia and Gabi’s short cut, but
the giggling girls cha-cha down Piotrkowska and
quick-step the never-do-wells dwelling in the stairwells
Streaks of Paradise on everything and all things.
A few shoppers queue for cheap shoes and boots and
daylight oozes like useless glue and
somewhere in the distance it is nine o’ clock.
Rickshaws trundle and thunder, bundles and rugs and
rags on the front seat. No cars.
“Joker 888 play here 24h no fear”
Happiness sports a hangover and the city’s jaw cracks open
spilling flirtatious office workers, dirty herds and
this is Łódź in the morning
I am stumbling in the dark and
I am fumbling in the park and
I love this city, this city here.
In this city, I am here.