Distance begins in the navel.
I feel it there in the morning – wake to the dull ache
That I placate with poached eggs and milk.
On slow days this does not work.
Feeling tied – to people and places and the requisite familiar faces – it starts small.
A thread winds quietly around this diaspora of broken people, binds us,
And we dip down, drop, a day at a time. I think this is a slow day.
I feel the wandering wind at my back
We’ll walk hand in hand as we watch other people passing by,
Trapped in minarets without a conjunction to order their days;
But we, we have unfaithful eyes.
I heard a couplet from a street-singer, from the tip of her tongue:
“There is hope in the air,
There is hope in the water.”
I brush hope across my lips, savour its aftertaste;
This is what it means to be free, in a song that carries memory
In a forgotten melody.
A man I love he carries this gift,
His voices wrap around my wrist and pull me towards home,
Fingers package sadness and beauty and tuck them between
Intricate chords – Major and minor and minor again.
These afternoons are dull, scented with the afterthought of rain
That anchors the gathering clouds in a silhouette of retreat;
Angry and moving again, they sway with rudiments of loss, metrical and sparse.
I don’t want to run my friend, not this time.
Let us stay here, let spring bloom around us,
Share it with the people we love.
But I know that we are soon scattered with seeds,
Swept with the rivers, hapless and uprooted again.
I am tired and I can see that you are wilting too.
For wild is the wind
Where our way is lit with flickering lights.
Your songs are generous and rare, these days,
They slip out with the ache of one treading to stay afloat.
You say a lovesong is at the heart of it all
And you’ve no need for a lovesong in your life.
In memory, David Bowie