He smells of the city when he comes through the door –
and strides across the floor, two quick steps.
His cheek on yours is cold
and prickled with stubble.
He is a working man,
and the hands that settle awkward on your shoulders
are rough and coarse.
They are not beautiful hands, the ones that touch you now,
not like the hands you might have dreamt of
when you were a little girl.
They are better at constructing machinery
at organizing metallic chaos into a functioning whole
something that moves
and belches out smoke.
There are still drops of rain
strung along his wiry, shortly-cut hair
rain carried in from the London streets
and from the cold cold bluster of weather
that swirls and throws itself against the rattling windows.
He does not understand poetry for the life of him
but the whisper of 'I missed you'
in your ear
is sweet enough
and true enough
and your heart could swell for the love of him.