(for Debbie Wright)
Stopped over in this sterile air-con place
We sit, squeezed into soft plastic seats,
Gazing out the plate glass at idle jets
Nestled in quiet neon darkness
As the automatic walkway click clacks gently,
Marking out the slow passage of time:
A dim metallic heartbeat
Reducing all thought and all memory
To the loose penumbra of unreality.
Airport jokes fade into dumb nothingness
As time stretches out to meet infinity
Somewhere high above the blank map of Germany;
And another airline rep smooth talks us
Into accepting the extended waiting patiently.
Just a technical hitch, he says,
Smiling his vapid airline smile,
Reducing all feeling, all sensation
To numb inevitability.
I smoke one more cigarette and you sleep,
Your tousled head on my lap, your doll hand
Draped languidly in mine.
Almost not here, away in a hallucinating space,
A flickering smile plays upon your face:
You are Kali Ma, dancing the Earth to dust
And I am The Perfumed Saint,
Exuding insufferable benign sweetness.
I press my ear to your red, full lips,
Listen to the slow rhythm of your breathing,
The hieroglyphs of your dreams,
The dark ocean of your being;
And through the torpid mist
Of this transitory soulless place
I sense the quintessential spirit,
The ineffable mystery that is you.
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