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Smooth Fields 6AM

By the time civil dawn cracks open
the cold egg-sack of London’s albumin skyline,
the blood-boltered bummarees of Smithfield
have already been hard at it for a couple of hours.
Their forensic white smocks and barrowboy charm
handed down through the generations;
father to son to grandson to great-grandson.
Jainists of the world take note; livestock has been
traded at this carnivore’s Mecca for over 800 years.
The soil here is used to the taste of offal and warm viscera.
Before Tyburn’s Triple Tree became the city’s main location
for public executions, the crown’s ceremonial killing was done right here.
Devilled kidneys of William Wallace. Sweetbreads of Wat Tyler.
Umble pie of Lollard martyrs and chitterlings of Protestant poets.
Godforsaken heretics and unholy dissidents all.
Smithfield’s temperature-controlled freezing works
sit proudly atop a labyrinth of ancient tunnels.
Tunnels which lead all the way to the hollow centre of The Earth.
Down past the churning waters of the buried Fleet river,
through the hot magma and the thick mantle
to a place where a long forgotten tribe
of homo habilis wage a daily fight for supremacy
with mighty mastodons and sabre-toothed cats.
Living life just as they did at the beginning of the Pleistocene epoch.
Unchanged in approximately 2.2 million years.
The daylight breaks apart the clouds above,
burning away any lingering rheum and gound.
London awakens slowly from the blindside
and prepares to shred new hearts
and grind more bones to dust.



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