You forgot there’s more to go. The rise
Seems unilateral and solitary. Every step’s
The last before you die. Up, up in strange
Circles, with a rope of small relief
For the fall;
Curiously windowless we rise until we find
Ourselves on the wrong side
Of a trapdoor.
A trapdoor above, like a shambolic
Peter’s Gate, fallen face-down onto stone.
Unpick, unpick and release
And a fragment of night at an odd angle
Is seen, poking your head up
To the plateau.
I have never seen so many stars.
A heady quiescence, outlooking over
The city – finally like a twilight Oxford –
Finally all but spires and broken clouds
Because I’m up there now.
I am where I shouldn’t be –
They might fear, he’ll jump, he’ll surely jump –
But every breath of this is my Elsewhere.
This is why all towers are locked
But here am I, and I’ve smuggled my hip flask
Into this sole and strange, this almost-heaven
And finally I’m all but spires and broken clouds.