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Cityscapes by Agnieszka Studzińska

The family are wild flowers on the roadside verge.

Sleep belongs to the living in a village collapsed with hunger.

A plaza of people are shadowed in broken café windows.

The city slides – revealing empty swallow nests, shaven earth.

Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made, writes Kant.

Streets hold the footfall of new generations splintered in the skins of the old.

Each building deepens in a parallogram of wind. Where are you?

A landscape disfigured by your perception of beauty.

Who is the woman heading towards you, avoiding your glare?

You walk in spaces vacated by others and occupied with their spent.

The confidence of this view breaks in the sighs of a fire.Sit here on the pavement and

detail the birds reconstructing the sky.

And the city replies to your childhood with drab light.

A family of ghosts in the hospitality of house and estrangement.

Hide in this city and listen to the labour of birdcalls in distant nests.

Stories hang in small balconies among laundry and flower-pots.

A city startled and shifting in a misreading of place.

Stay here and listen to that something not being said is speaking.


Agnieszka Studzińska’s debut collection, Snow Calling was shortlisted for the London New Poetry Award 2010. Her second collection, What Things Are is published by Eyewear Publishing (2014) her third collection, Branches of a House is forthcoming in 2021. She has poems published in The Long Poem Magazine, Butcher’s Dog, Finished Creatures Mag, The Manhattan Review among others.


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