Gone Walking

We avoid the river these days
- go probing fine architecture
humming in city heat
Kelvin way
passed an empty bottle of Eldorado
scooped and forgotten,
the self-love of someone nameless.

Through a crisis of crosses,
the churches boarded up
and all the black-eyed shopfronts
we went, minding the boy in Shetland
closer to the land than he’s felt in years.

Happy to be anything at all
we walked the cobbled vennels,
brew of meat and bin
lingering long in the nostrils
of our conversation.

I looked over at the wind,
that famous glass blower of the romantics
at work in her blonde run of hair
and felt the buoy roll in the heart.

We were quiet in talking,
in looking up at all prettiness
never seen with faces at the ground,
knowing something the other
may never know, and in stopping
beneath the Beech, having walked
long hours in each other’s feet,
were satisfied to simply stand there
deciding which face in the bark
was the tree’s soul.

David Linklater