A power cut, two half-baked smiles and the knowing silence of regret. Dark, dark as the grime soaked tray in your hands, charred peppers and too-fried onions. You are in the kitchen. Outside the world is a lacquered painting and running away. Water drips the pine tree across the pane and road. Drum. Drum. Drum-beats the glass. Inside the kettle stops its boiling midway and his face is covered in dropping tears. You are failing to make words form through a twisted out-of-batteries tongue. He closes his eyes and tries to hide his pain with what you have done. Wring your hands but still no verbs leap to lips. All you can presume is that there are no words left to say.
Leave the kitchen and slip into his bed fully clothed. Pretend to sleep. In the morning the rains and tears stop and dry you lie in bed broken by before. When the world shudders back to life and a sharp light switches on, your eyes turn with purple outlines of a haze. Groan. A few moments pass and in the kitchen hear the kettle begin again. He does not say a word. Relieve him of the silence. Creak. Leave before it boils.
A final glance. Sigh as the door slams a wooden tongue. Do not look back as dawn carries her torch across the sky; he will stay. Tarmac claps footsteps toward day and then, within, something out loud to the world that he will never hear; ‘I am sorry, you know.’