Go Ghosts

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.

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JOHN WIDDOP

John is a mostly unpublished writer who lives in Rybnik, Poland where his attempts to make a mark on the world include teaching, travelling, and taking care of two cats. He lives alone.