Brick Me: Vanessa Kisuule’ poem on the demolition of Bristol’s old sorting office

The weight of the monster’s head sent to
grind me down to dust is fourteen point seven tonnes and its long neck stretches
out 42 meters. No blaze of glory, mushroom of bilious smoke, no almighty crash. My
demise won’t rip through the sky or shift the boards beneath nearby family
homes. I’ll be nibbled on a utilitarian canapé. The salt and silt of me will
linger. I’ve been everything and nothing Place of honest work, den of deviant
pleasures. Filled with words and orphaned feathers History dribbles out from the
strict frames in which we house it eroded through steel and concrete it
reinvents itself. Asbestos unfurling queer and twisted a shame and it’s crooked
brother, silence. A locked safe writhing with the torture of its contents. I am an
inconvenient crevice the chipped tooth in Bristol’s smile. I greet commuter
trains as they whistle by, pitted like the moon full of ache and how the
harshness of my vowels the smear of asphalt I leave on the skyline. Ominous
skull with six hundred stories rotting in my sockets tales too subtle and
wicked for written language. So brick me then, sore symbol of bygone times at I am,
rooted ghost of things best left muttered under breath footnoted in
forgotten books I bow out as graciously as I clung on, a
gritty legacy to chew on. A monstrous thing to digest

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