Poem: What Love Looks Like on Wind Blown Streets

What love looks like on wind-blown streets

I saw a man,
made out of cheap cuts
of meat from the market,
crying into the paper cup
in his knuckle-heavy hand,
saving salted tears
for his dry lips.

He stroked his dog,
black and gold Alsatian,
who had seen everything
through David Bowie eyes,
biting sore paws,
keeping lookout
for you to return.

He danced a tango,
meant for you but without you.
Army boots tap
irregular pulses on pavement .
That same tick-tock
as the grandfather clock
in your house.

He twisted into oak tree shapes,
for the crowd
who watched from the bus stand.
His eyes, like those of the dog,
filtering faces to find yours.
Hands held out for small change
to soften the hurt.

And I wonder,
where have you made your home?
Why have you left him here,
crying into the paper cup
in his knuckle heavy hand,
saving salted lips
for sweet reunion with yours
on these wind-blown streets?

© 2016 Matt Nicholson

Matt Nicholson: writer, poet, on any given night to be found in venues across the North sharing his pride for his hometown of Hull. Debut collection ‘There and Back To See How Far It Is’ available through King’s England Press.

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