Staffan Cederborg CC
When They Ask About the Explosion
The day my city was destroyed
I browsed the isles at Waitrose
pondering if I should buy more cheese.
As my sister looked out from her car
onto the deafening red, the mushroom cloud,
the foreign rubble, I was wondering if I can fake
a migraine, sign off early. My best friend texts me:
I have never felt more scared, and I remember
how we heard a bomb one day and he said: well it’s done now
so we might as well get coffee. I want to smash
the windows of my London flat so at sunrise
we can both be sweeping. I want to turn off all the lights
in this jammy bastard city, trigger earthquakes,
cut the jasmine from my throat. I want to dig you out
of the debris and piece our city back together. We are stuck
in an ungodly split screen, each wishing
we were someplace else, both gargling
with this sticky goo that’s left behind.
it was just one blast, but
the kissing steps
are shard mountains.
the pigeon holes we reached in
to hold hands in secret
have their own GoFundMe page.
your great-grandma’s house
with the green shutters
survived two wars but not the shockwave.
we never got to see the roman baths
but at least we did two victory laps,
clutched each other and two plastic medals
here beside the silos, before they burned
down to a crisp. back in East Beirut,
people still took phone calls, won at trick –
card games, planted single olive trees
for the grandkids, just in case,
and here you are, bent over the glass
you shovelled to the side, planting one too.
Yanita Georgieva is a Bulgarian journalist based in London. She has spent most of her life between Bulgaria, Lebanon, and the UK, and writes because she is scared she will forget all the important stuff. You can find her poems in Tint, Rusted Radishes, and Pushing Out the Boat.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.