Our Secret Weakness

It's late. We walk, silent and a little lonely, up the hill and over the bridge home.

There are no cars, no people.

The rich houses all sleep with folk who go to bed at a respectable hour, folk that aren't out late plucking up the courage to nick a CD off the shelf of an independent

music

store in W1.

I wish he'd hold my hand, there's no one else around to see our secret weakness.

"I wish I'd nicked something else." He says despondently.

I wish he knew how I felt, I wish I could tell him.

"Like what?" I try to keep my voice light, jovial, like I'm not. I'm shaking inside, I pretend it's the cold.

"Anything, I don't know… something better."

We're at the bridge.

He stands at the top looking over.

It's a small bridge over a small river a long way down.

If I jumped I wonder if the water would wash over my body and take me away, or if I'd just splay out wide and red across the stones, filling up the gap between the

banks like a bloody, awkward dam.

He pulls the CD out the inside pocket of his zipped up blue coat. It has a fur trim that tickles my neck when he hugs me goodnight.

"I'm chucking it." He says smiling, like it's the best decision he's made all night.

And he leaps atop the thick, painted white wall, that's shiny to the touch,

so even if the streetlamp flickering above us dies,

the drunks will know in their semi-conscious staggering state, that this is a wall with a warning set in stone.

This is the wall I dream about.

The wall he pushes me against with his hips, the wall that digs into my lower back as he holds me tight and kisses me.

This is the wall we walk past every Friday night after the club, when I've waited and waited and left at the same time, called out his name from down the bottom end of

main street and caught up with him. And he's waited, his hands ploughed deep in his pockets, his feet drifting to some wave of music, some drugged up beat, all the

while dreaming dreams that are lost in the running of the water, in the sounds of the stream.

He's still smiling as his arm arcs and the disc flies off toward the trees, not the stream. It clatters as it breaks against the branches, disappearing into the leaves.

He's still smiling as he slips.

He holds out his arms to me,

His hands are huge I think. But he's tipping the wrong way

And I hold my hands against my ears

To stop the sound of his body,

To stop the sounds of the stream,

So all I can hear in my head

Are my own screams,

A breath torn out between heartbeats

for a life that'll never happen,

Not even in dreams.