I was out walking yesterday or perhaps it was today
when a man young as a son spoke under his breath: go
back home, he said, you belong. There, not here. Before
not now. This is not the first time, time was confused.
Tomorrow I go for a jog to let my slab of fat dance
and a woman pushing an empty pram stares,
imagining a past and a place of return I cannot.
I leave the suburbs, and the slithering hills
are nice until they realise I am ignorant
of their names; I am walking away
to the place I live in, and the sun is wetting
my hair, wilderbeasting my body, adding weight
to every step. I shop in a convenience store
and the old man there nods to me, eyes filmed
over with where he used to be. His mouth
opens, throat bulging, and he ejects a red brick
small and perfectly formed. He says I will need it
some day. To build a bridge or a home? I ask, but
he doesn’t seem to think there is a difference.
I put the slick brick in my pocket. It is light as
the wind, heavy as a country. I return
to the house I grew up in and the house tells
there is no succour to be found in the past.
Outside, I see two men in love as a feature
of the landscape, their fingers reaching up
to tender sky. They spit into my hands red
sap I will need some day to mortar. I travel
into my flimsy chest, my lizard brain,
find a refrain of no and go and back and
land and man and home and beneath this
an echo of milk and brick, corn and breakfast,
you know, the ordinary things.