Low Pressure

Sue Vickerman

I said it would be stern as a school uniform,
dull as winter heather. But Aberdeen was gentle
as an egg-box, pencil-shaded, hesitant outlines
smudged by the weather; cock-eyed sea-birds perched
on cardboard cut-out turrets high above the shops
on Union Street, while heads wrapped up like sweets
bobbed by, and men strode down to the gaudy ships

where you, delighted, took snaps of the docks,
metallic red and blue blocked into sketched space.
I could live here, you said, lingering at the sight
of a papery warehouse blown empty. That night
on the coast road we parked under lowering cloud
and argued, while behind us in fading light, the city
mulched like papier-mâché beneath the press of granite.