He told me,
with a weary smile,
that it was on the fourth floor
above a baker's.
A 're-ti-reh', he said,
which translates as 'penthouse'.
We walked, hunched in our coats
against the Vardaris
all the way down from Russia.
I knew we'd arrived -
I could smell the bread.
We climbed the dank stairs,
me counting the floors.
Then a heavy door,
which Rod pushed open with his shoulder.
We emerged onto the roof of the building.
I thought he was having me on.
took up all of one corner,
past piles of second hand bricks
and stacks of Yester Year's tyres.
The walls of Rod's gaff were flimsy sheets of tin, and glass;
his roof was flaps of corrugated rust.
Rod had his key in his hand.
with Vardaris tears in his eyes.
the rattle is deafening.