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The Airport Run

Clare Kirwan

Four a.m. Night is greasing the streets.

The breath of all the sleeping people

hangs over town and I wait on red

at deserted crossroads for nobody.

The moon is tangled in a net of clouds.


I will go back to bed, and you

will sleep on the plane.

I will wake up to the familiar

– the heating coming on,

creaking and stretching

like you when prodded awake,

muttering and grumbling

like you at the petty autocracy of a clock.

I will hear life in its arteries,

the audible thump of its heart,

feel how the wood under my bare feet

has the warmth of skin.


From Brittle Star No 9 (Summer 2004)