The hand moves away, contemplating the end of the tunnel, abandoning the
page in a hotel room. No time but dust on water in a glass, the imperfection
of paradise, to be cut where cut is possible. The difference resides in
feasibility, rife with forgetfulness, swept away knowledge. The blue of the
eyes sharpened by a thick dark beard are strangely familiar. It doesn't have
to be like that. The insight disappears on waking. Persistent otherwise, the
room is renumbered, a cave of hair around him. And that one there, when you
were another, pale brown light, ash down to where you could be forgiven.
Nothing to be renamed in spite of this, nothing outside the room.
You who have given up on us, colourless you run while we sleep on a balance
of air, free in shaping. How you do anything is how you do everything, a
diamond street most obviously, courage to engender silence at the right dawn,
the smell of the sleeping beggar you pass on the corner. Stumbled at the
crack of things, which meant everything at the time. So tired she was with
the angel who disturbed her dreams, eating sweet flesh, a new shape in the
wound, a sign to run towards you, who didn't love enough.
Broken inward the confession of the mirror just beyond the explosion in the
little market. Your hand knows the secret of what happens
next. Independent of hard boiled facts, the crowd is delivered, and
tears blur the boundaries of definition, yet action deceives the best of us,
penetrated unwillingly. Below the shrinkage of where you were, the bits of
newspaper, shredded language of a hostile people. Your tongue digs
crevices in the air. They will not see you walk into the hall, unable to
distinguish glass from water, the conversation unconcluded, head hanging like
a telephone from its cord.
On the bus the warmth of her thigh against mine when I was eight. Seeing
these streets for the first time. Her breath on the back of my neck to be
believed or discarded. Where footsteps fall silent, the meaning still in the
movement of your hand. It wasn't all plain sailing, she said, on the back of
something else, not real but enough to keep pace with us through the city.
The wearisome old man insists on telling us his tale. But perhaps it is
someone else calling, long buried. That was a name, red as the flesh you
HAVING JUST BREATHED
The night bus pulls out of the empty station. You turn pages, twisting a
strand of hair around your finger, wanting never to reach the end. Details
resist the temptation of the perfect statue, wonderful and terrifying at the
same time. Headlights catch a girl, head down, walking along the edge of the
road. Your call is unheard. The city disappears street by street as you enter
it. You will come to know him without ever seeing his face.
© Ian Seed