Roads are never busy here – the further
south you go, the less narrative you see.
It’s autumn – going south means gold.
A gold that will soon turn to just tree.
I stop to visit an old friend, her new baby.
Another place, a new couple – I drink wine
and relish in their getting-to-each-other bliss;
Too much of both, not enough of this.
Next town, a poet friend – he’s coming down
off an acid bender, and I’m wearing
the wrong shoes. We find a quiet place to talk
about form, structure, Wellington, Dunedin.
I hear myself saying hello goodbye soon
keep in touch take care of course you too.
I’m headed for my own – a space
to gather dust in, spread myself, like glue.
I left you there in June, watched
you cycle away with the morning,
the road behind you turning to dust
under an incessant Apollo.
Your house was a kind of terminus,
and its portico, the platform.
I watched your mother taking trips
to the garden and hanging washing.
She spoke to me of weeds, the heat,
how she’d once thought she too might travel.
No question now of her whereabouts,
I thought, as I posed static
and balconied, in the infinite potential
of being away from my own life.
Yes, I thought, I could stay here,
let the days work away, decided.
While I’m thinking this, there’s a knock
at the door – mi scusi, la pasta è pronta.