With your left index finger You hooked behind the blue mask In the Cupid's bow, right under your nose Pulled it to your chin And spat Onto the pavement, A plankton jellyfish in the sea of gray Carrying froth, nicotine, And your DNA. It was your way to honour The trodden, parched concrete; Soiled it, some might say, But you and I knew you were pouring water Into the Earth's core. You were on a mission. On a murky morning like this Ancient spirits sent you their behest Of communing with nature Of blessing the city Of a pact of sorts before the shaking of hands. In fact, it was almost like a dance. You had measured your steps With a metronome, Quick-quick-slowed your way From the escalator, Spun a metre-and-a-half away From a begloved passer-by, Took out a second to Take in your reflection In the empty shop-window, Then delivered it. In fact, it was all a masterplan. You had set your target With geometrical precision, Put poor Pythagoras to shame. Perpendicular to the noontime shadow Of the trash bin gaping alone; One degree nineteen minutes North by north-west from The pinkish-gray chewing-gum blotch, With X you marked the spot For a street star constellation, Then launched it. You, unbeknighted hero of our time, Stood and crowed with pride For having grounded the sky And quenched the asphalt athirst By a single ancient act Of holy expectoration. Then, your index finger a hook, You pulled the mask over your chin, And picked up your way, Carrying froth, nicotine, And your DNA.
Image copyright: Chris Gravett https://www.chrisgravett.com/blog/2012/april/chewing_gum_in_oxford_street