Poems of Coming and Going

 

Beside An Empty Suitcase

 

Rider on a horse of air

A battle beckons over what horizon

I am beside my empty suitcase of adolescent zeal

Hoping I will never have to fill it

A centaur without the horse to ride

I linger in the caress of a memory as yet unmade

And I have married anticipation

So as never to be alone with the past yet to come

(But someday I must leave her, the Philistine I am!)

 

 

Arrival

 

I am here in the ivory square

Wishing for the taut misfortune

Of yesterday when I was not yet here

Where trains rush past into the unclaimed future

 

Eyes smile into lips

And the metro is a phoenix:

Go back to your ashes and leave me my somnambulance

 

(In my bag is a deodorant

I will finish when I have gone back home)

 

Even as we take our first steps into the novel sunlight

We promise ourselves we shall be forever enslaved

To the memory being born now at our feet

 

 

Souvenirs

 

As the breakfast bells chime and dawn looms

I have my face in a book I started in the past

And will finish in the future

But never again will I read it and have in the corner of my eye:

A new girl drinking a new drink in a new bar

 

I can read as much as I want but I will never again see

Her legs that smile as they cross themselves

Her lips changing colour to green mwah absinthe

But all I can do is read on

 

So that maybe this book

Will entomb that memory so bright

And resuscitate it when next I read it

So that girl can stow-away with me

Into my palaces of routine

And defeat mundanity for a little while

With the force of yesterday’s novelty

 

Departure

 

Now I am asleep and dreaming

Sick

Queasy

I’m going up into the sky – perhaps –

And tomorrow I’ll be back in the sea

What’s waiting for me:

 

Not this yesterday of rambling avenues

And streets nameless and lustful for me

New drinks under a new sun

Old moons alight a new dance

Not this and not even the metallic airport

Silver lighting

Wearing all my belongings

Refusing to fit

Declining to rise and fall

 

I am even younger today than yesterday

Like a boy working before his time

For I have taught myself

Not to pay attention to this present

That returns me to what same-old future

Like a train to an illicit destination

 

And in the queue before me I hear the languages of home:

What am I doing here and what’s next?

 

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