This is not an ode to London;

because I could get stabbed in Beckton,
I could get groped on the tube,
and mugged walking home.

This is not an ode. It is, instead,
my love letter:
fucked up and read, not recited.

I love London because it is home
in a way home is not home.
I embrace it because it has received me;
I’m a more or less successful
liver transplant:
part of me is here, in this very much alive city
and I grow – I’m a liver in a sea of livers
that transplanted themselves here.

I love the smell of weed everywhere on this campus,
I live with the smell of shit
floating every now and then
with a stronger gust of wind.
I breathe in the feeling of belonging,
I swim with the people walking around at rush hour,
I fall in love for a second every time
I fly back here
and the first thing that greets me is a “sorry, love”.
I peed in central London
but who hasn’t?
I fucked people in the tiny room I call home,
here on campus;
I started towards my future life
on the sticky sofas in the East Building;
I cried for football again and again
and while I might have done this back home,
I love London. I wish I could say it
like Tim says “I love the rich”:
with slight contempt and a confident voice.
I let mine tremble though
because I love London, but in such a way
that few have: in an idealistic rotten way.
If London abuses me, I’ll wipe my mouth
and say “no one will love me like this”

I love the rain and yes I might be a
slightly tiny bit insane.
I love the puddles, the river, the whiskey, the people
whom I think of as idiots;
And those who fix my bags
and bring me food
and buy me drinks
and tap me in
and hold my hand through the films
and cheer me up with their pink hair
and wave their weave
and offer me adrenaline shots and
insult me and tell me I need to get a grip
and tell me I missed lecture and how dare I?!
and how fucking horrible is the rain?!
“Mate, I love the rain!”
“Oh, you spaz.”

The people who will hug me when I make
my daily habit of complaining,
and introduce my use of “cunt”
as a Jo thing.
The people who think I’m stupid
because I can’t argue the only topic they know;
the people who make fun of my accent,
the people who think I’m from here
and the people who think my father
will have to pay in cows when I marry,
and who think I’ll steal their shit because I’m Romanian.
And yes, I’m Romanian!
But my mate says I’m fundamentally British;
and he talks a lot and he’s quite clever
so I’ll go with that.

This is about the women I like
and the men I flirt with
and the fucked up laundry
and unmatched socks,
the people I sleep with,
the food I don’t eat,
and the whiskey I drink.
And the story of how I met
My London.

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