Liverpool – Martin Langford

The white box and ironbark
of the hunting-grounds gone –
like the farms that replaced them –
the town is a sun-hardened stage
where the hopeful
patrol the dazed streets of invention.
Histories stream through so quickly
their meanings unravel:
St Luke’s with its Book but no readers;
the dance-hall’s stacked Gameboys;
the old bank asserting its rages with MegaBass Plus.
Cloudless skies, unscripted surfaces: memories
crowding the paths to the place one might live.
Layerings here
are one’s knowledge of what one is losing.
And what one has won:
lichen-black brick and dry grasses –
asphalt and glass
where the mothers hold tight to small purchases;
men study chess as if expert in gameplans;
fathers guide children
past junkies disputing the mall –
wide-eyed themselves –
as if, anytime soon,
they must recognize signs of arrival.