girl from lambeth

A journey begins on the night bus from Lambeth in Carrie Walsh's poem – but it doesn't end there

by Carrie Walsh


i nearly fell asleep on the night bus
number 68 home from north lambeth
my head resting on the space between
your shoulders and mine. i nodded off counting steps
towards my bed, to soothe me to sleep
dreaming of our next spent stage
i told you i worked in front of the stage
as we skipped off the sticky bus
i was in a molten sleep
slinking slowly, stirred from lambeth
to my home, with our drunken steps
we became something else inbetween
your hands trailed between
places no one in this early stage
should dare to caress, your icy fingers steps
longing for the warmth of my succubus
how could this lust be lingering in lambeth
laboured by our longing, neither would sleep
we roared on refusing to sleep
sobering stumbling sensuality between
a boy from the country and a girl from lambeth
i didn’t think we’d get to this fervent stage
from the murky mutterings in the pub, to nightbus
fingerings and lubbering footsteps
we skipped the steps
normal people do, avoiding sleep
as i climbed into your incubus
strangers strangely intimate between
the flesh, and like the darkness of backstage
stars dimmed across lambeth
the new day rose over lambeth
outside on the streets, missteps
mistakes as I became your hostage
as you burrowed beneath my skin we fell into sleep
a fleshy blessing between
sheets. this would become our secret syllabus
you would take steps not to sleep
with me again, unsure about what is between
us, awkward stages of uncertainty – avoiding lambeth on the night bus


Carrie Walsh | @walshlette

Carrie Walsh is a London Irish writer of poetry, plays and prose who has just completed a diploma in Creative Writing at Oxford University. Her primary focus is London’s social history, how it relates to contemporary life, and how we can learn from it. She is also obsessed with the River Thames and, tea.

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