Microscopic particles of time
rain upon our lives.
Paper promises grow brittle,
mapped forgiveness folds, unfolds,
frays and tears along the creases.
Our memories refract through prisms
until the brightest day is lost
in anesthetic runes.
I heard a motor revving in the carport,
and from my gate,
I watched my Kia Starfish drive away,
with the spindly legged carport
My clothes were winding on the clothesline,
they flapped themselves unpegged
and found their friends inside my wardrobe.
They told me they were not appreciated
before they left for Vinnies.
Between the pages of a book
and just above the stars,
a proton sought a radical hydroxyl
to make a drop of water.
I cleaned my glasses, blinked and blinked,
but every word had fled;
sometime words, already over,
already voiced and gone.
Adeus, adeus, my object-oriented
applied technology, ambiguous digitality,
spell checker of my frozen dinners.
Too much of me for anyone,
no-one’s to blame.
Bricks and books, fantasies and floorboards,
the chinaware, the chaise longue,
each parting word of disparagement
echoed down the street.
To make a claim on my insurance,
I read through all the finer clauses.
They mentioned tidal waves and inundations,
unexpected turbulence, supernovas,
Once the quotient’s gone,
life’s remainder must be lived in stealth mode.
Memories must never be awakened,
they must sleep in stranger’s bedrooms.
Now I’m dressed in nothing
but a version of the truth,
with a virtual canary
and some photos I don’t care for
in a safe without a combination.
The canary’s leaving soon,
she’s planning an Antarctic cruise,
and she’ll take my message
in her tiny backpack
to a fortress carved of ice:
Will you come back?
Please answer in the space provided
to three significant figures.
- Title borrowed from Return to the Lost Planet, Angus MacVicar (1954).
- Kia is a trademark of Kia Motors Corp.
- Vinnies: Society of St Vincent de Paul, volunteer charity organization.
- Clotheslines are acolytes of Ra, this one departed helicopter-style.
- The North Pole, especially, is so crowded with ice constructions it’s basically a slum. My favorite appeared in Frankenstein Unbound, Brian Aldiss (1973).
anesthetic runes (detail above)