Andy Breckenridge


I stand outside your window at night 
waiting for you to open the blinds and see
my tartan face the whites of my eyes 

shot with blood lines - green irises popping
see how the plain silver kilt pins jawbone
my skin together in the wind see how 

symmetrical and intricately blocked 
I am - each sawtooth of green dovetails
with dark blue in a precise matrix

see how the straps and buckles fit so 
neatly through the slits in my waist - hold fast
I was that night bus that snagged on departure

from Glasgow Buchanan Street and unravelled 
en route to London Victoria
to help you find your way back - now I frown 

at your lack of fealty and the accents 
of your kids and yours - while you sleep, I’ll slip 
sliver after sliver of tablet onto 

your tongue until your teeth pop like lightbulbs
see my gridlines keep everything in check
stretch to infinity like a spreadsheet

weighing up the debits and credits
(you are in the red) that’s me peering in
right now, an arrow slit of borrowed moonlight

that’s my breath - that’s me hanging lifeless 
in your wardrobe - following you in the car
lurking on shortbread tins and tea towels 

as you scurry past gift shops at airports 
avoiding eye contact - weigh me
is my cloth too rich and heavy?  

Morning light slides past 
the blinds again and the first trains 
shake me out of the air.

The Tablecloth Trick

So the tablecloth is yanked from under 
the set table of you. Your head cartwheels 
around the room. Once it was a solid 
rampart on a goat’s brow. Not now. 

Glass crunches underfoot. A snapped stem, 
and a base minus a half moon wait to slit 
tidying fingers. Water from the slain vase 
edges over, dribbles on floorboards, finds gaps. 

The bouquet has scattered its damp confetti. 
A spoon rocks to stillness and reflects your 
inverse portrait. Each audience member 
waits for an audience member to make 

the first move. Every night the clatter reminds 
you she left. Under the duvet, you vanish.

Flights, Issue Seven, December 2022