For one night only
By 5.30 they were gathering.
The paintbox sky was losing the will,
and I called you from the shore,
to draw you out,
to parcel up the moment,
before the darkness scrubbed everything away.
Ten minutes later you were by my side,
your face in profile –
bruised from another day’s assault,
but reliably perfect –
gaze following the swarm of starlings,
over and above and around and over the water,
lost in their murmurations,
wanting to be neither explained nor described in words.
Lapsed finally into that state, immeasurable in time,
we prayed for the inevitable gloom to somehow spare us,
we begged each one of the thousand birds
to circle once again before dropping to the reed bed.
I kissed an exploratory tear as it left your eye,
knowing exactly what it was for.
first published in Wildflower Muse, 2016