As the train whirlwinds by and shrinks into the tunnel
you tell me for the first time that you love me. Regent’s Park station
is a sudden blur of colour, tangled with close-ups
of your face, your hands, your neck, your hair.
Above ground, looming over the rose gardens by London Zoo,
a cluster of Kentish oast-houses point their roofs at the sky.
The Elephant Houses, you say. Do they bellow in there, trunks raised?
But you say the elephants don’t live there any more.
Back at the tube station it is raining without, rush hour within.
Glazed tiles from another era sing out their songs, and we hold
each other tight so as to stave off whatever forces may one day
drive us apart. We kiss, and several trains go by, untended.
Lane Ashfeldt, Regent’s Park, London, 2012, with thanks to Badgerpie for the Elephant kiss photo.