Under Kew Railway Bridge

by Isabel Bermudez

I enter the river-birds’ world, its dark and damp
        graffitied walls, a smell of rot in museum cool
while the Thames’ salty breath dries a cormorant’s wings,

laps at the bridge’s concrete pillars,
        brings word inland of the distant sea,
the life that goes on and on, years without stopping,

day and night, miraculous as a human heart
        pumping time under the bridge. I set my eyes
on a tiny wave, see it through to the other side

before it dissolves; an old childhood game,
        one you’re never sure you’ve won, as
you pit yourself against the current,

try to marshal the flow, to keep a moment as it was  
        beneath the play of light and shadow.