‘I’m sorry. I haven’t done this before
and I’m quite nervous,’ he said,
folding himself into the suitcase.
‘Don’t worry,’ she said, ‘Take your time.
The whole town’s come to see you off.’
Once his legs had been broken
and tucked beneath him
they would begin their anthem.
He remembered how it sounded that first day.
Like all the drowning lungs of the sea.
A heron in a standoff with the river.
The questioning necks of three – no, four – flamingos.
All of it. He could taste it already,
the ink of their feedback.
He imagined the view from the office
obscured by a bare swinging bulb.
She came forward again and kissed him,
placed in his hand a photograph
of their wedding day. He’d remember this
for the file, for the worn-leather give of the chair.
From the suitcase he had a great idea.
It would have to wait. He wouldn’t turn back.
Not now. Not for anything.