I’m greeted by the freshly laundered dawn,
pale slate linen hung to dry above
a stirring city of collective individuals.
I cherish moments like these,
when I can step out in to the drying day
without forethought or agenda
and imbibe a city which has squirmed
beneath the clouds for a millennium.
And what a different place it would be if
the sun shone upon it more often.
What need would there have been for the
gilded Galleries de Saint Hubert
if not to protect the heads of the bourgeoisie?
What drive would there have been for Horta and Blérot
to duplicate nature’s balance indoors in glass, steel and murals
and sprawl sgraffiti jungles beneath damp eaves?
Why would beer need to warm one’s soul and feet
if one’s shoes were not constantly damp?
Where would have Magritte found his clouds?
How would the cobblestones of the Grand Place
manage to glow brighter than Saint Michel’s spire
if they weren’t slickened by an otherwise uncaring God?
How silent and plain the city would be
without colonial djembe undertones, postmarks
from a search for one’s self in clement Congo.
It is a city of grey
from which all colours run