Easter Monday

Every sound echoes, 
seconded 
by dry stone 
in reply.
Voices crack 
like shoes saved for best,
second skin blistering beneath first;
kissing warm tarmac
lips pursed
with every step.
  
Dogs 
chase their own tails.
Coffee pours and drinks itself. 
Pretzels, stale as the day
are thrown like rocks down throats
and
boats pass under the bridge
like cotton through the eye
of a needle.
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I heard birds

 I heard birds
 on my return;
 shrill bursts through the
 stringy silhouettes of trees
 branches twisting
 as new Spring leaves
 reached out in the dark of the early morning.
 My footsteps echoed on the pavement
 church bells
 and soft lights slipped and fell from windows
 of shops and flats
 while street lamps clicked off
 as I passed.                                                                                                  
 Eyes closed.
 The sky hung low
 over the park
 that was sunk deep in the middle;
 a crater in the surface of the earth
 filled with grass and other living things
 the train tracks gone.
 We circled the rim like eagles
 heads bowed to the ground
 and your hair, blonde now
 and soft as goose down
 waved; fluffy
 in the moon breeze;
 your newly browned skin
 creasing like paper
 rubbed out by the wind.

Braces

When you had braces
and couldn't kiss for toffee
or eat it
and your face was so thin
I could feel the skull
under there 
all holes;
skin
like the skin of a drum
pulled tight over bone,
the slow movement of your jaw
the steady chew of it
the horse and straw of it 
was a small wonder to me then;
and steel and stone rested 
on row upon row of pearly whites.

I pretended not to notice the bands
at the sides  
the rubber holding us together 
a cat's cradle
in your mouth
the kiss itself 
in danger of being caught
first one side, then the other.
Or somewhere else.
When I laughed
my throat biscuit-dry 
my mouth thigh-wide
your eyes held mine, 
smile faded to a line;
straight and strong.
My own teeth, tombstones 
wedged single file
in my pretty pink gums.