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Monday, 15 February 2010 02:00


Your rooms

Your rooms were stations -
Clapham, Camberwell, Tufnell Park.
Our bodies
Epitaphs of motion -

The oratory of breath
Moistening the night air,
Thoughts like wires
Sparking in the copper sky.

You refused ownership of beauty:
This light, diffuse on your body
A by-product of the moon
Incarnation without presence.

Our forms: streets, shadow
Branches of rain
Sirens and cries in the glass night
A fox in the waste.

Your rooms were stations
In which we waited for one another.
You were impatient
With the distant clatter of trains

        drawing no closer

arriving at Heathrow in a time of economic collapse

In your tears at Heathrow -
The contraction of distance
The crisis of accumulation
Arrivals, departures

(the night spent in an Addis airport hotel,
discussing  vectors of sleeping sickness with Dr Yoti.
prostitutes watched memorials to Michael Jackson
silhouettes stalked in post-socialist fields)

(your paths through heath-mud,
prayers of mist
clouding the contours of your eyelashes;
unemployed, anxious, breathless -
your city a respirator)

You had said to me: don't stay, meaning

stay (we suffered asymmetries of information)

In the arrivals lounge
The revelation of tears: our love is not fungible.

The autumn leaves fall like currency
Rotting on river beds

Cities of refuge

What can I give to retrieve these years?
A bead of millet glistening with rain
A bedtime story for my absence
A burning coal for my heart

I would take these worlds apart,
This glut of radiance and sorrow
Strain it through hot water
To warm your winter throat on a London evening.

I wished to make a home in you,
Only to realize that people are not buildings
Rather, half-built dwellings
Where migrants gather and depart

Taking shelter from the rain
Read 2424 times
Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon

Itch Volume 1, Issue 3: 'Adieu Karl Marx: Reflections on Johannesburg in the Early Winter'

Itch Volume 2, Issue 1 'Colour Bar'

Itch Online 'Distance' 

Website: www.itch.co.za/?article=287
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