When he leaves the house in the middle of the night, your swallow is louder than the closing door. By the time you have dressed, there is no sign of him, each of the three roads filled with unruffled black air, waiting like a grounded helicopter. You set your course to magnetic nowhere, walking across parks and gardens, through sleeping bedrooms and empty shops where mannequins may or may not dream. As the crow flies, without wings or prophecy. It’s dawn before you find him on the coast, coated arms tight around absence, still as a chapel, staring down the day to see who’ll blink first.
Oz Hardwick is a writer, photographer, music journalist, and occasional musician, based in York (UK). He has published six poetry collections, most recently The House of Ghosts and Mirrors (Valley Press, 2017), and has edited and co-edited several more, including (with Miles Salter) The Valley Press Anthology of Yorkshire Poetry, which was a National Poetry Day recommendation in 2017. His website: http://ozhardwick.co.uk.