The purity of the air after rainfall –
The sacred smell of sandalwood
Wafting down from the hilltop shrines
Reminds me of something.
My deadweight soul, flapping with airline tags,
Lies gasping, dusted with the residue of long years
Lettered ‘Fragile’ and ‘This Way Up’
Entreating those that handle it to be careful:
To see it safely on its way to wherever it’s going.
Coat-hangers strewn on the unmade bed,
The unwashed floor, the weary bags,
The cluttered tabletops
Which will perhaps retain traces of my having been here
When I am gone:
A few fingerprints maybe,
Scattered fibres from my clothes
Or crumbs of what I’ve eaten.
Otherwise I’ll be on my way
Like the breath in my lungs
And the black blood rushing from my hidden heart
And the voice of Winter groaning in the pipes
And the hissing gas of the stove
And all the unsaid words and murdered thoughts
Bleeding in the sink of my mind
Incognito down the street, keys clinking in my pocket
With the tumbling leaves and the frantic ghost of the city
To a new address.
And maybe I’ll see you again,
But we both know it won’t be the same.
I’ll twiddle my new keys and feel my chains
As though I’m my own jailer.
Because I don’t recognise myself anymore.