4am Departures

4am, amidst unnatural bustle
already I am letting go; tight
clumps of you falling into my
stomach.

Outside, the night still
a deep and entrenched thing,
still holding us together in
this room.
Here, we’ve marked
boundaries with the rubbed scent
of bodies,
conceded the ground of retreat,
built parapets and
trenches, and
clung to crags carved of books,
sheets, chairs.

And in that no-man’s land where
we dared to meet, how we
arrived in the pan of our bodies
and found it yet familiar.

Now we step beyond
our normal distances, busy
ourselves in tasks that need
to be done, in double checking that
we haven’t forgot: we watch the time.

Shuttling over the Kandallah hills,
down into a city of dull lamps,
heavy as eyelids.
Our bodies blur in the
floating landscape, where hands
steal solid shapes from the darkness.

At the airport, the sun is coming up,
lighting the spaces between us
that are now enormous.
How open the sky is.
You leap into its terrible freedom,
now a steal ibis, now a pin prick
piercing through.

Copyright Ricky Barrow 2013

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