In the slanted grey light of a Manchester evening,
you lay out your clothes, ready for leaving:
boxer shorts, socks, a charity shop shirt
and faded black jeans.
Curious as a cat, I watch.
It’s been forty eight hours
since we met each other:
Man City. Spike Lee
and a crate full of vodka.
Too soon, the dreaded morning comes –
(It is the nightingale.
No, it is the lark)
– eyes red,
wrenched from our beds,
dog tired from drinking.
I wear what I slept in,
scrabbling in half-light
for bra and knickers –
feeling the shyness
I shrugged off last night.
In the corner, your clothes are folded neatly.
(Will I get to watch you dress and undress a thousand times?)
The clouds are low.
The journey drones on.
Royal Albert Dock
Ahead, The Liver Building looms:
an unwelcome ending,
a backdrop to parting
where the ferry sits like a full stop, waiting.
The cold wind blows us a cruel kiss.
Ben takes a photo.
The flash catches us not yet admitting
that what we are holding
is just a beginning.
(Will this be the photo you frame by our bedside?
Hangover fragile and storybook strange)
The rain pounds against our bedroom window.
The world has changed.
But here, hung over the door of the wardrobe,
are your chosen clothes
ready for work in the morning:
a charity shop shirt and those faded black jeans.
Image by Giacomo Zanni on Pixabay