Caroline has been sitting in the same chair in the same café table for nigh on six years now. Tucked into the corner in a little alcove, just at the point with the highest concentration of the smell of coffee grinds and baking bread, it is warm here, and dark. A lamp made from an old gramophone spills honey light over her hands as she works, kneading bread or fashioning wire and silk ribbon roses for the table centrepieces. Highlights of the day include the opening bass chords of walk on the wild side (although the inevitably turn into that song that sampled Lou – it’s too long since it has been fashionable to play Revolver in café culture), a bloody mary at midday and the smell of scones and butter. Caroline has been sitting at the same chair in the same café and thank god they’ve made her useful because she hasn’t moved an inch in six years, and doesn’t plan on it any time soon.
In the dawning days, when the air was thick with pyroclastic rain, the pigeons were kings.
Strutting. Preening. Nesting the eggs of the world into musky hatching, to birth the streams and the chattering stones. Then, they dined on diamonds and fought the eagles and won (the chaos of beginnings are no times for the clear-sighted). They dyed their legs with the blood of the fallen and rolled their fine feathers in garments of ash and their cries pierced all of the rumbling thunder of night.