Alnwick Town Limits

There are things I haven’t told you
like how we went for a walk last night
at ten, striding out past the flickering TVs
to the motorway bridge, as the day held
the memory of itself in a thin strip on the
horizon and you spread slowly inside me
like a bruise. Before we reached the railings
we could hear cars scoring tarmac, the soft
howl of lorries singing of places we would
never see. And I wondered if we should join
them, make love one last time in a spatter
of bones and blood on black and white.
But look at the trees, you said, look how
carefully they hide the trembling hearts of a
hundred birds in their deep, gentle pockets.
Does this not give you hope? I kissed you then,
pressing your words against cold steel, as the
night uncurled like a fern frond, leaving me alone,
wrapped in the shroud of a street lamp,
only five minutes from home.

Catherine Ayres