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Dark Lane

In this sunless alleyway

shadows slap damp walls,

propped up by scissor legs

beneath pouting slash smiles.

This is the place to meet

trouble and pretence, a packet

in a curled hand, to feel the

city’s tubercular heart.

Slits of bouncing light

seek out dusty corners,

besmeared lips, the frosted

coolness of glass.

Linger, if you dare –

to feel the lane’s pulse.

Harlot’s lair, dealer’s den;

a contract made, paid.

Don’t leave now, son.

Darkness beckons.

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