As she says, night holds all the aces. Trees gang up outside her window, beyond her vast imagination. What calms? A wall concealing a kind friend. Knitting and looking. Silver light. I know her sleep is evasive, touchy. A mind as busy as this, what will it stop at except its own trembling edges. Then, falling, it’s tomorrow, time for cold rain on school windows. Time for measurement and declamatory order. A uniform, the solid back of every wardrobe, no give. She brightens. The pantomine! High heels! Red dress! And the choir! Listen!

The windscreen wipers fail. Nights of rain ahead. Lowry’s extras are out and about, mind-washed. Old Market’s menu tempts: Adam and Eve Massage; Dick’s Climbing; a broken store front in reflective puddles. Soon, traffic lights and rain will take the night over, insisting on their own screenplay – no stars thank god. Cloud clogs up air with its wheezing and sliding.

‘When everything is at last together in one place, we will fall on our knees and sing.’ A drenched black cat.

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