Directions for a Walking Tour of London on a Thursday Night

There is art in staying lost.

It doesn’t matter where you start;
     you’ll look up and find yourself
          on Piccadilly Lane.
Moments later,
     a street that sells nothing
          but guitars.
Don’t check the map
     tucked away in the bag
          you bought just for this trip.

Watch the man in a kilt
     stand on a ladder
          and juggle swords.
Leave a dollar for the American
     who fails to flick a card
          onto the roof of Covent Garden
     time after time.
Push through
     the suits and dresses
          outside a theater
               showing The Lion King.

As you squeeze into a bench
     facing a wall covered
          in French movie posters,
     the sky outside darkens.
Use strange money
     for the first time
          to order falafel with a Coke.
Watch how much others tip.

The streets have nearly emptied
     when you see
          Nelson’s Column rise
     against clouds lit from behind
          by the moon.
Keep walking.

Turn right and climb the steps
     into the gallery. Make your way
          from room to room,
     saving Rembrandt
          and Van Eyck for that moment
     when your feet finally give out.

Sit there
     in the silence
          and see how their light
     glows in the dark.

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