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Thursday, 23 July 2015 11:36

Newton's First

The art of losing is a changed thing, these years;
I think of you every time I clear
my search history.

And just as the progress can be tracked
Of lost phones to the parts of the city
Where we don't go, so the unexpected
Transactions of missing credit
Cards, so the careless trajectories
Of hearts gone on to a different use.
We can watch all this as we would
The receding world in a rearview
Mirror, hopeful
horuspex of unravelling roads.

They lose in the old, still ways here, an
Arid town ambered by cartographers;
The hotels where my father drank shut
Up, the railways quietly failing, big
Companies pulling out. You wouldn't
Notice the absence in this desert
Which is comprised of absences,
Of those silences which imply
Some disaster impending, or just past,

Or ongoing. Some miles ago I'd thought
To drown out the silence with a city
That dwarfed me - but there I sat
In an indifferent bar off Istiklal
As soft-palmed youths spoke of
The place where first they'd met in the past
Tense, proper nouns gone out
Of circulation, though cherished
By collectors. In parody
Of this quaint enterprise

I dredged up fragments of you, bidden
And otherwise, which clung to me or I
To them, narrow shoulders and sour
Breath and the name of your
Favorite niece; not much. A body

Barely assembled, then,
Literally half-hearted.

In flight, I'd once come home from a

Party in Toulouse with a friend who'd
Forgotten with me the name
Of the bar and whichever band
Had played for us; I decided it
Didn't matter, that it was enough
To have heard the same foreign sounds
In the same unfamiliar climes together.
She'd snapped.
"Of course it bloody matters."

Does it matter if your ghost resembles you?
You are a thousand unseen miles away,
All my neighbours barbarians, and though
I could reach out now and find you, I don't know
That you'd do the same. Wrong area code.

And are you haunted too by halfway things? Like
An archaic name for an extinct bird
Crying in a renamed quarter of your city?

Does it sound like this?
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Liam Kruger

Liam Kruger has had stories, essays and poetry in numerous online and print journals, including The Rumpus, theNewerYorkPlayboyAerodromeMahala and PrufrockSome of that writing’s ended up in anthologies like AfroSF: Science Fiction by African Writers (Storytime Press) and Bloody Satisfied (Burnet Media). 

For the past little while he’s taught and written and studied in Cape Town, but now he’s living in Istanbul.

You can find some of his stories hereand you can watch his sanity visibly unravel here

Website: twitter.com/liamkruger
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