Next afternoon

Frankie sits under a tree, looks
at the river stretching away,
he takes a deep breath
gets out his phone
searches for
Paul’s number.
He feels the bark dig
into his back, his legs
get pins and needles
as he waits for the courage
to press: Call

Frankie arranges to meet Paul.
The millennium bridge stretches and curves
like a nervous smile,
its struts are teeth, it swallows
the river in dry gulps.
the sun is bright, piercing, dazzling.
Frank waits, blinded, holding the rail
it’s cool and tremors with the wind.
Down below his feet
the water rushes in like blood
into a beating heart.
Each side watches
the tide rise, the banks are close
yet never touch.
but the bridge knows
and brings the two together.

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