The Manchester Review
Patrick McGuinness
from Blue Guide
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I – Gare du Nord

Arriving is like walking in on someone else’s divorce
proceedings: Belgium-wide, the Balkans, their weather,
their slowly fissuring statelets ripening into crisis,
averted crisis, crisis. There are no last straws;
that’s a law we Belgians learned too late; some of us

not at all. The rain falling slantwise over Gare du Nord:
Brussels composing its island weather, Symphony
in grey major
, the nineteenth century still shaking
on the rails, the twentieth a late train.