...The story of a girl in London, England


Sonnet 36


My lungs fill up with stinging, sooty, smoke—

The kind that billows up in milky clouds.

It burns and leaves a film along my throat

And still I suck it in, and wheeze it out.

I stand so close the fire burns my thighs,

And yet my back is numb with chilly night.

Despite the warmth, the light that squints my eyes,

I’m always, ever, half a frozen plight.

It doesn’t matter how I turn or sway,

The darkness deepens, sucking at the heat,

That just before had soothed and smoothed away,

The cold that grips my head, and hands, and feet.

And this is how we live our lives I think:

Souls, half in sunshine, half in darkness slink.

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