GOLDFISH ON THE COAST
How close we came to leaving each other
on the hard shoulder, walking in different
directions, following the line of fields
for lonely miles then hitching a lift -
me toward the sea, you with a spirit
level back to the midlands.
It would have been dark by the time
you put your key in the lock,
let yourself in to the cool hush;
prayer plants folded, landing light blown
and the dog staring into the night
expecting me to sing his name.
I'd have steadied myself on the coast,
bought a sequined swimsuit, a two-slot
toaster, ruined a few heels on the cobbles
of the old town swaying home. There would
have been other men, a goldfish or two,
gulls screaming overhead, but no cause
for concern, none whatsoever.
First published on Ink, Sweat and Tears website February 2017