Dodging the BT Tower

Sloughing along Percy Street,
I sense but can’t see the BT
Tower glooming down at me.

Brown and redbrick Georgian
gives way at Rathbone Street
to painted pub-fronts, a bend north,

and a block of wire-rimmed flats
designed to mock pedestrians
lacking motivation. A pint

of bitter at the Duke of York
silts to the bottom of my soul.
When I emerge the sun still shines

and the street warps again, east
this time to Charlotte Street
where the shock of a photo shop’s

yellow storefront distracts me
from the crude baton of what
I used to call the Post Office Tower

when London was new to me
underfoot, every step a marvel.
I can’t let that stainless construct

affix me with its rotating gaze,
its battery-powered vibrations;
so dodging behind a trash truck,

down Goodge Street, I gain the north walk
past the green façade of Icco
offering its £3 pizzas,

then duck into Berners Mews
through a tunnel of scaffolding
to reclaim my wits in the dark.

William Doreski