In This Space
Concrete and glass, marble and stainless steel,
reflecting distorted strollers, shoppers,
passing each other by,
walking purposefully or aimlessly,
footfalls on spotless tiles—still damp
from their overnight wash and brush up—
phones between fingers or clamped to ears.
So much space.
No glimpse of narrow streets
of tenements, courts and terraces,
washing hanging and children playing
or sitting on steps, women gossiping.
No sounds and smells of human life
nor animal—working or wild, not petted.
No rattle of carts on cobbles.
No noise and dirt, dust and fumes
of workshops, docks and factories,
spewing into this living space.
But scratch the shiny surface,
lift the cheap veneer,
take up a tile.
Look behind the facades
of the people and you will find
another place and its people
in this space.


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