I am not afraid as I descend,
. . . step by step, leaving behind the salt wind
. . . . . .blowing up the corrugated river,
the damp city streets, the sodium glare
. . . of rush-hour headlights pitted with pearls of rain;
. . . . . .for my eyes still reflect the half-remembered moon.
Already your face recedes beneath the station clock,
. . . a damp smudge among the shadows
. . . . . .mirrored in the train’s wet glass.
Will you forget me? Steel tracks lead you out
. . . past cranes and crematoria,
. . . . . .boat yards and bike sheds, ruby shards
of Roman glass and wolf-bone mummified in mud,
. . . the rows of curtained windows like eyelids heavy
. . . . . .with sleep, to the city’s green edge.
Now I stop my ears with wax, hold fast
. . . the memory of the song you once whispered in my ear.
. . . . . .Its echoes tangle like briars in my thick hair.
You turned to look . . .
. . . Seconds fly past like birds.
. . . . . .My hands grow cold. I am ice and cloud.
This path unravels.
. . . Deep in hidden rooms filled with dust
. . . . . .and sour-night breath the lost city is sleeping.
Above, the hurt sky is weeping,
. . . soaked nightingales have ceased to sing.
. . . . . .Dusk has come too early. I am drowning in blue.
I dream of a green garden
. . . where the sun feathers my face
. . . . . .like your once eager kiss.
Soon, soon I will climb
. . . from this blackened earth
. . . . . .into the diffident light.
by Sue Hubbard
from Artlyst Magazine