What has to be considered, you're walking down a street
Probably the street exists, most certainly your feet do
Attached the standard way, tingling as they wouldn't in a dream
What's visible in lamp light, wavering in flickering or semaphore light from windows
Who examines, so intent and fractious behind those clacking blinds?
What's half-hid in grey, invisible in deepest shadow
Audible and echoing, pungent draughts of air was that a cat that skittered by?
On eight fast gleaming legs probably not a cat
Buildings square, oval, triangular, a rebus or geometric puzzle
That was the click of a camera shutter or the hammer of a gun
Still alive? No rent in fabric shriek of pain from penetrated flesh?
Very likely a camera then or a wicked poor shot
Seems like a street, rustle of wind, where people, brush of something
Wrapping round the ankle, take careful aim
Silk or onion paper snapped up in your hand, the feel of it
Cribbling still along the exposed flesh between pantleg and heel
On one side of the sheet is written
"Bear in mind that instantaneous travel is always possible
Abandon destination like a worn-out ticket stub. . . the universe awaits"
On the other: "Johnson's Foot Powder - soaks away those tired aching feet!"
one's definitely a rabbit, not exactly hopping
On two stilts or leg splints, forepaws dangling from an unusual height
Muttering "Stew, stew!" in more of a voice than you've ever heard from anything that furry
Where is this street? How did feet
(With all the usual attachments) arrive here?
Keep a

Keep a cool head, actually it's rather chilly
The wind full of sharp acrid tang but also cutting
Damp heavy mist enriched with sewage, guttering into bone
Neon sign shaped like a cold capsule
Ten stories high: ABBOTSWORD HOTEL
Duck in for the night if wallet and credit card
Nestle in their usual pocket
Sleep in a half hidden triangular doorway otherwise
With a bi unsettling eye in its centre

Price of the room isn't much, a needle-prick of blood
Filling a small syringe, added to one of a hundred or so
Rows of them behind the main counter, odd currency
Unreliably open safe but no! ongoing art project
Is what the desk clerk insists who seems disconcerted
Not many guests it seems ask what country and city this is?
But no, it appears she's uncertain of the answer herself
A stranger who arrived under circumstances that remain mysterious
Working this job a week (told her with a chuckle
The place needed new blood, she'd filled barely half a row
With guests' blood o no! not hers personally, as an employee she lived rent free
"Mild anemia endemic among guests as you might imagine
Will you be staying long?" Difficult to say and if you do
Perhaps the establishment will have other openings
Besides a vein plumped up beneath the skin?
Needless to say no pens are available to fill in the application
Only a tiny pin. . .

The hotel's a sanctuary of sorts, a momentary stopgap
Thick walls prevent most odours from penetrating
Pot pourris
hanging from side lamps along the corridor
Here and there on the banisters intercept and alchemize
Whatever comes through undiscovered chinks or windows partly open
Undertow of fetid stink beneath the flowers, herbs and spices
Slight whiff of polystyrene from somewhere 'neath the wallpaper
Inside the room all this is better sealed off
Just turning on the tv focuses and diminishes every kind of smell
No need to open a window certainly
Draw the blinds against a full moon
Semaphore a message in case other travellers are passing , then
Let them clack closed: one channel's given over
Entirely to films and serials about amnesiacs
Forget that! there has to be a comedy channel somewhere on the dial
This is good: film noir, takes you out of yourself
The Vienna sewer scene from The Third Man
Seems unsettlingly familiar - seen it many times of course-
As of relived experience (it's true many of the pot pourris
Carry a scent of lime. . . )
Luckily room service (capacious menu, no carrion to speak of
"Naturally it can be special ordered") and telephone calls out
Nothing but message machines in the world outside
Leave vague messages each time a name won't come
Can be paid for with your plastic (that's quite a wink from the bellhop)
Don't want this to turn into the Red Cross
Reconnoitre in the morning