(I) A wall of glass, drawn with black verticals and venetian blinds into a pellucid sheet of graph paper, hangs in a pearly sky. In its curve is a reflection of St. Paul’s dome, merely a fragment, an echo of Wren’s dream, itself an echo of St.Peter’s, Rome, and that was borrowed from the Pantheon, via Brunelleschi.
As there are ravens at the Tower, there are cranes in the City, raising walls of glass and steel where once there were walls of red brick or creamy stone. Concrete will squeeze and shelter the old pubs, the medieval livery halls, and curves of glass will shiver with reflections.
(II) Beneath an eager chin, her white scarf is a whipped cream ruff. She smooths escaped strands behind her ears, shifts her weight from one foot to the other. She runs her tongue over her teeth, as if chasing the crumbs of a hurried meal, or preparing for a kiss. She swings her glance from the mouth of the Underground to the long arms of Cheapside, the eastbound red buses, the westbound black cabs. The breeze lifts the skater’s skirt of her raincoat; the fringed edge of her scarf spills froth amongst the buttons. Her legs stalk, black, restless. As she turns one way and then another, mouse hair, cat-like, lashes its tail. Her neat features harden, her mouth becomes a tight line. She pulls back her sleeve, inspects her wrist, and then inspects the pavement. Shoulders hunched, she crosses the road, is swallowed by the grey canyon to the north.