2 poems by George Aird

WHEN IT COMES TO TALL BUILDINGS

Sleeping is not a mutual agreement.

Our first night here is an old dog, the black of clouds bearing their teeth, 

clenching around the pier. Maybe all storms are like this. 

The way a city sounds exactly how you expected it might, only closer 

when you’re in it. The way the old man re-watches his war films on Sundays, 

gently lulled by the actors who are grubbed up but beautiful all the same. In the evening, 

before bed, we follow the retreating tide. The ocean pressing back, 

far beyond the distance. Everyone has their own games. When they built 

New York, how soon was it that they discovered the sky remains a soundless church,

no matter how high you are standing? By dawn, the night is gone. 

You can see the lighthouse jutting out in the distance. 

A perfect white line. Whalebone in the sand. 

Mornings tend to be like that. Closer the more you think about them. 

ISABEL IMAGINED LIFTING THE NAIL

from her hand, using the flathead screwdriver

like they do in the movies to make you talk. 

Like we do to the walls, now, 

removing L shaped metal where once hung 

the pictures of others. 

Not like how the doctors asked you questions, 

though you did stare at your nails then, too, 

noticing the dirt buried beneath.

Afterwards, the nurse told you that 

grief gathers in the hands, just there, 

around the knuckles. 

Later we will watch 

bats in the garden. 

Their dance of bones and tremors.

About the contributor

George Aird is a writer based in the North West of England. His previous work has appeared in The North Magazine, The Interpreter's House, Under the Radar Magazine, and Birmingham Literary Journey among other publications. In 2019, his poetry was shortlisted for the Maírtin Crawford award. @G_Aird

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