York in Poetry: Tour Guide (for York)

Posted on 25 November 2012 | Poem, Audio

He says “This city is like a closed fist”
ignoring the melody of contours
that clothe the streets, sutured with history.
We peer down eight hundred years of signatures
to fall in to step with the native ghosts.
Constantine, upright in any other city,
reclines, knowing his orders could force no echo.
Another voice lost to the annealing breeze.

“This place could be a world in a bottle” he claims,
as though such vibrations wouldn’t shatter glass.
The walls weightless, a hanging carapace,
no stone, no one extraneous in this place
that opened its pocket and slipped me inside.
Never a city more fit for light.

- Steve Nash