Joe Carrick-Varty




It happens next summer when the car in front turns left
at the motel sign and a doe notices just in time
to blink and a man with a bag of beers looks
but doesn’t slow any.
Or tonight, when I wake
to your naked arm cold and too heavy
so my breath holds as I pretend not to feel, pretend
I didn’t catch its eye and, for a second
consider braking left
on a year I’m yet to live. It happens
on a bridge over a train track, a father back for a weekend, a son
propped on the railings
arms in a V, altogether unaware of the light’s red to amber,
the freight around the bend, its horn
an impact that will whoosh through him, keep him
quiet all the way home
up there on his father’s shoulders.





Joe Carrick-Varty is a writer based in Manchester whose work has appeared in Crannog Magazine, PN Review, and The Interpreter’s House amongst other places. In January 2018 he was named one of Eyewear’s 50 Best New British and Irish Poets.

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