Perhaps these are the very merlons through which the watchman set his gaze, baring his teeth against the wind as it dawned on him those cloud shadows scudding over the horizon were maned and hooved.
Who's to say that this is not the loophole where the archer let fly that fateful arrow, or that these stairs, now beetling into sky, are not the very place the battle turned a corner, for they would surely have favoured the swordsman who knew each toe-tip step and not his assailant whose blade struck stone time and again as he spiralled into darkness.
in vine-mullioned shade
the ghost of a portcullis . . .
I’d accept it now
that never came