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Tolu Ogunlesi

London Bridges

We ride a cosmopolitan storm, a double-decker chaos. We ride an empire under the threat of revenge. Black faces look and hold secrets of the coming apocalypse. Shhh.

Don't tell the queen. Don't let Number 10 in on this. Mop your floors ,

as though you had resigned to fate. Turn the other cheek. Allow the old to shit all over you, as though it were a privilege. Until the time shall come-

and soon is - when the empire will expire. Then we shall rename Buckingham Palace,

dredge the Thames to the Atlantic, so the bones of the Chained shall clasp the souls of the Owners. We shall teach taxi-meters to measure the sins of Homo Superiors and count the bound cries

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of sub-men; tutor the buses to stop at each ancient landmark scattered between Zanzibar and here;

reconfigure coin slots to spit out words like nigger.

Shhh. Don't tell the queen.

Tofu Ogun/esi lives in Asaba, Nigeria. His collection, Listen to the Geckos Singing from a Balcony, was published in the UK by Bewrite Books in 2004. His poetry has also appeared in Sable, Sentinel Quarterly and Times Arts Review, amongst many others.

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