One, three, two, forty-five thousand and sixty-seven, eight, nine of you - swarms of flying rats, diving and bombing, swooping above and about, this way and that - like black drops of ink, blotting out the sky; spread over the years, I mean, across the whole of the city. Now I have a confessional cry: How is it that I, Fist, have always failed to punch a pigeon out of the sky?

Only yesterday - strolling through the Spring park, watching those grey stains, distant and dark, spread like litter, then edge nearer, nudge under the bench (which I'd finally settled upon) and search for some nugget, peck, peck, peck - rather than punch one, I simply, instead, put a cigarette into the hole in the middle of my head.

Now what grey poisoned flecks nest in the city of my lungs? My lungs, one day some place you will deflate, stop, pop, puncture; surely some evil like a pigeon is to blame, and it's not Fist the first punch comes from?