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White lines
 
And that December night
it seemed as if all the stars
in the heavens had come out
so close, that you could reach up
and slip them one by one
down the sleeves of your jacket
bright enough to catch the birds
breathing in their nests, silence
 
snow heavy on the pavements
parked cars  hedgerows
piled in drifts
across the tennis courts
glittering in starlight
 
like when I was a child
and found that man lying
round the backs of the houses
the high wall of the timber yard
the sleeping sawmill
 
one arm raised to the stars
his face shot away
head swollen twice its size
the crude sign round his neck
as if written by a child on cardboard,
Informer Ė I didnít know what
I was looking at, I knew instinctively
what I was looking at.

And so that night
we walked without speaking
arm in arm into the future
I knew, as I know now,
what we would find
how your face would change
in the yellow light from the back doorway
clothes strewn in the yard
 
how, in a moment
you would want to run away,
and keep running.
 
 

 

 

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