London. High Summer.


William Logan

Trafalgar Square was gray with pigeons, Lord Nelson still erect above the fray, rustier now, lost in his cloudy thought, while tourists

dragged themselves below, never meeting eye to eye. All Europe a heat wave, on the Underground young girls, with their bare torsos

and effective breasts, showed off all they knew, which was just enough, or not enough. They cut the lust with a knife. We were drowning, drowning in fair weather.

I’d spent weeks watching the fields yellow with jaundice, the pheasants tiptoe out uncertainly and bargain for grain. That unreliable summer,

the tropics sent the Old World telegrams. The abandoned trade routes were geometric, rum in this direction, slaves in that, all for one and one for commerce!

The great ships of the line had passed. Out in Greenwich, huge, tilted, overpainted anchors littered the lawns, as if the country had lain too long underwater and could not float.