James Byrne


Weeks from now we'll scoop up pools of dust
from the roof-beams, empty the fridge
of its scummy leftovers, find the occasional dish
peppered with a mould that's like fox-fur.
On a night like this one, suddenly the duration
of it all will stare at us, accurate as a mirror.
I'll pull the toothless duster over the floor
one last time; see the high-spots of sunset
scratch through yellowing clouds. Weeks from now
the house will forget all the murmurs we've made;
we'll find a fortune of small-change under the couch.
And the two of us will stand there, in a long embrace,
our stomachs touching, our suitcases packed
as if for some kind of vacation. And the slow reel
of it all will un-spool every distance that has arrived
to claim us. With a last stroke of my hand,
casually I'll brush ash from the windowsill,
write my forwarding address, a goodbye note.
And with a last aching look, I'll clack the door,
leave my set of keys under the gingko tree
and hurry my possessions through the hallway.


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