Wake before bells fall
when rain chatters at blinds
and the haze of dawn is so thin
you could slip through the light
and press yourself against another world.
Lie there and listen to the brook
that gutters across the stones.
Outside you know foxes gnaw
at takeaways in bins. A cub perches
on top of an Audi, blithely confused
at an alarm wailing down the road.
Hear drunken teenagers amble home. Sit still.
Try not to snap the calm
as the world turns around you.
The reflections off buildings spear the mist
as London wakes. Wet squirrels shake off their dew.
Your lover, asleep, foetal and twitching,
wondering where the weight of you has gone
as he brushes his hand over an empty pillow.
Max Wallis’s first pamphlet, Modern Love, has been shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize; he is currently editing his book of children’s poetry, Jack Frost & The Swans, supported by an Arts Council grant. He runs the website www.somethingeveryday.co.uk and models with Models 1.