Here in the city, the inner city, and all its featured delights.
Green space and birdsong, quality turn-ups and sideburns, a stained mattress next to a three-wheeled pram.
Bakeries and takeaways, friends and brothers all in easy walking distance too.
Great bunch of lads.
Pork chop square slice.
Every shade of black.
In the city, the city of Govanhill, that’s where we are, where we’ve never voted Tory, we didnae vote leave, we don’t play rugby and we dinna even ken where Edinburgh is, okay?
Roman and Celtic, Hibernia and Caledonia, city feed with whisky bars, music in our feet, taste of continents in our food.
Yoga mats and hats from Vietnam and shoes from Sudan and graffiti on the wall that says we’re magic, we’re magic, graffiti on the wall.
Hot chocolate city, hot coffee, sitting on the stoop city, smelling the smoke, the weed, the cigarette blush and puff.
City evening rubbish and flowers in the pavement pushing through concrete ground.
The city is our family, although sometimes invisible in an empty city, an invisible city with buildings too high or windows locked in hidden tenements.
Late night tears, early morning wailing, never forgotten, always remembered, doomed to repeat again and again.
Every type of home in this city.
Early century urban slums, pre-war landlord slums, municipal disasters, free market buy to let and left to rot.
Or brutalist social housing masterpieces, empty space and spray paint wilderness.
Some backcourts are like a garden suburb, others like a medieval dump.
Some have hopeful pot plants, stained glass, perhaps a polite little pushbike chained up.
Others have timeless, placeless terror. No names on doors, haunted letterbox, holes punched in brickwork.
It will all end there, you know it will, in the dead of night, in a dark stairwell with no one to hear you scream.
That’s our city, the constant city.
Student flats or your cousin lives here or a drug dealer does or a family who fled war-torn Debenhams in a small boat.
Because we’re all immigrants here, it doesn’t matter what we wear, or the spices in our hair. In the rain we don’t get wet, or if we do, we don’t care, we ignore.
Straining in the silence, heads wrapped up against the hot and the cold, bare shoulders and tartan trews.
Flesh-coloured fools, a double-headed dragon breathing fire, all the big boots and greasy dust you require or desire.
Sorry, what were we talking about again?
Aye, non-binary fanny magnets, that’s it.