Bring Back That Lovely Feeling

Yim Tan Lisa Wong



We flee Brixton for the smoky spotlit
Underground.  At Vauxhall, we jaywalk;
Survive dodgy tunnels decorated
With National Front and disorganised
White pride proverbs - black and blue
Scriptures dripping with red spray.
The urine dampened concrete flue shoves 
us about urges us towards rows of warehouses,
where bass throbs pound past long queues
outside windowless walls.
       Inside, the 'ladies' and 'gents' toilets flow
Over into a narrow corridor of heads bobbing
And shoulders blinking with dilated pupils
And diluted blood streams.
Extending across two rooms draped in gauze
Between which nightlifers meet and greet one
Another and welcome newcomers
The sweat and breath of dancing scale their way
To the ceiling, then condense and roll down the walls.

Nine hours pass
Tempo quickens
Dehydration, dancers, and mad lights bounce
Together into blue green yellow orange frenzy
Unaware of lemonade daybreak

Finally, we must leave and squint at natural light
Outdoors, the silent Sunday morning lie ins
Replace the DJ's cooing and our eyes and ears
divide the sounds of passing cars and escalators 
into one hundred and sixty beats per minute - 
life's tummy ache  hums and grumbles
As it glides and surfs over the surface of bodies
In the dozy sober world.

Tracks move the Tube according to schedule
We board and Urgency joins us.  Two proper
Sunday church uniforms dressed in women
Sat across from us touch furtive glances
lance our tattoos, club sopped and tatterly clothed,
And feed their righteousness.  They watch and judge, 
whilst Necessity and Discomfort start to aggravate 
each other, a skeletal implosion spreads a sour Tickle 
itch up my spine.  Impatient I try to thwart 
your attempts to comfort and assure: "Let's wait till 
we get home.  We're almost there."  But your Muswell Hill 
and water closet promises are ages away.
			Destination --
Two more stations, but composure runs out.
You trudge like a disgruntled but submissive soldier
Behind feet that mind the gap and skip the tracks
To reach empty Sunday morning in Oxford Circus,
Where shut up shops lock us out
This time not because of the way we dress or have no money
But because we get lost in the stabbing bristles
Of the litter gatherers' brooms
I scurry and scramble silently, feet stuck
My head spins around streetwashers
Until I turn to the sound of you, my fellow crusader, squat
At the joint of sidewalk and railings
And I become the infant soldier and you the brigadier general
With the inception of a trickle, then a stream
What join in a hissing splash
And roll by my feet.
 


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