Nick Laird reads
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You’re the patron saint of elsewhere, jet-lagged and drinking apple juice, eyeing, from the sixth-floor window, a kidney-shaped swimming pool the very shade of Hockney blue. I know the left-hand view of life, I think, and it’s as if I have, of late, forgotten something in the night — I wake alone and freezing, still keeping to my side. Each evening tidal night rolls in and the atmosphere is granted a depth of field by satellites, the hammock moon, aircraft sinking into Heathrow. Above the light pollution, among the drift of stars tonight there might be other traffic — migrations of heron and crane, their spectral skeins convergent symbols, arrow, weather systems, white flotillas bearing steadily towards their summer feeding. A million flapping sheets! Who knows how they know? The aids to navigation might be memory and landmarks, or the brightest constellations. Perhaps some iron in the blood detects magnetic north. I wish one carried you some token, some Post-it note or ticket, some particular to document this instant of self-pity — His Orphic Loneliness, with Dog. Advances? None miraculous, though the deadness of the house will mean your coming home may seem an anticlimax somehow, and a trespass.