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.
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.
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.