A girl laughs in a red telephone box that has no glass.
The glass is on the floor, broken.
A hawthorn leaved with sparrows glints in the evening glow and is mirrored a thousand times in the shards upon the ground.
The girl is me.
I am happy. Free.
The other girl watching me is listening.
The sparrows raise a deafening lullaby to the dying sun but it is not enough to drown my words.
I turn my head; she drops her eyes…..
The graceful glide of the receiver echoes the crescendo of the song
the birds shiver and rise as one, stripping the hawthorn of its undulating cloth –
the receiver reverberates against the rusting red frames and the dust settles.
Held in that dusty air, nothing happens. I’m suddenly very aware of my bare legs and red toenails out of place in that shimmering no-man’s land.
Another bus arrives, stops sharply, unexpectedly, surprised to find people on that desolate track. We get onto the yellow bus. Silence full of noise.
I don’t look at her, I do not know whether she is looking at me and I go on with my life.
That silence becomes a sweat that everyday hangs heavier upon my body, I wake to see her face, and in every crowd, cloud and looming corner.
A girl laughs in a red telephone box.
From outside the glass it looks like she is screaming.
That girl is empty; but that girl is me. Her wan laugh can not escape. Hollow.
Hunched up against the freshly painted red metal stares out.
Through the swathes of people not her face but that politely falling fringe, focused on a bag of apples. She hasn’t seen the tram. Abruptly gasping pulls up. One apple rolls across the floor. She doesn’t see it. I pick it up.
I know it’s over.