‘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.