Poem of the Week: ‘Urban Fox’ by Christie-Luke Jones

Cultured Vultures poem of the week

1st Place
‘Urban Fox’ by Christie Luke Jones

Through gritty, parched eyes I squint,
As hazy boulevards wind ceaselessly ahead.

The soupy June air weighs heavy on my shoulders,
A cruel curse befitting of a cruel hour.

I snarl and thrash and seethe.
I pray for a swift end.

Highgate lovers, swathed in crumpled bedsheets,
Gaze down from windows in dreamy post-coital bliss.

The soft light emanating from their cigarettes reminds me where I should be,
Where I should have stayed.

Her cascading onyx locks and melting stare, so far from here.
Snatched away in a frenetic dusk.

In the murky, nocturnal depths of this Hadean Borough,
The thought of fusing my weary torso to the elegant curve in her back is my only escape.

To sweetly kiss the nape of her neck,
And watch that sensual smile paint joyously across her sculpturesque face.
For a brief, heavenly moment, I’m there.

But mine is the oppressive still of a North London night,
Where bountiful summer trees loom black and menacing over deserted pavements.

Lo, wrapped in my internal struggle I have omitted another.
One who neither pines, nor laments, nor regrets.

A weightless astronaut, he skulks through the night air with a humble grace.

His sinewy frame. That restless, twitching muzzle,
An opportunist cat burglar, thriving in his concrete woodland.

He slows as I approach. A cautious arc. His marble eyes reflecting the street lights above.
What does he see?

We halt in unison, we share the stillness.

His keen nose analyses my scent, his pointed ears flinch at my slightest movement.
Such devotion to the senses is something I’ve long forgotten.

Suddenly I feel my heavy feet beneath me, notice my short, agitated breaths.
This wild animal has coaxed me out of my own head, made me living again.

He watches intently as I find the strength to move forward. Down this path I myself chose.
And as I glance back, I ponder his sentience. Did he share in my epiphany?

Succumbing to sleep I envy the fox. Long to dream his savage, unquestioning existence.

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