The Penzance train slips into a tunnel
of silver, in the darkening glass
he's ten years younger, awake again,
chest a cage of dancing birds.
I'll be waiting, she said, head for the cathedral.
If someone asks for change, be generous,
be generous twice. I like to watch a man meeting
the world before a storm of words gets in the way.
Beyond the station, tram lines guide him,
he feels the city's welcome in noon heat,
plane trees offering shade, the boulevard’s
pale spread, come in, come in.
He likes the sound of his Birmingham woman,
imagines them opening a door to a cool room,
stilling the hours, waking in a different day,
her urgent, whispered instructions in dawn light.
The cathedral's golden stone is suddenly close,
blue meltwater in The Ascension window.
She's here somewhere in the lunchtime spill,
he feels a hand on his hand, a kiss hello.
First published in This is Not Your Final Form, The Emma Press 2017