The last night of my 20s 

For Roddy Lumsden 


Fitting that the day should dawn 

in this most Lumsdenesque of Lumsdenesque 

contexts: sea-froth for night music 

and the company of Suzannah – 

kind enough to show me this walk 

she knows without recourse to light. 


When the hour came 

‘Mr Brightside’ played it in 

a song to which 

             by dint of the glint 

                             in Sophie Barnard’s eye 

                                          twelve years ago 

I cannot listen passively. 


Which calls to mind the secret canticle 

that undoes you, Roderick. 

Maybe it is better some things 

retain their mist 

that all of us might carry a well of myth 

in the pit of our pitch, 

maybe it is by such melodies we exist. 

from A Blood Condition (Chatto & Windus, 2021), © Kayo Chingonyi 2021, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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