If I picture a thread of cotton
running from your hand to my heart
then, we could say that there are times
when it’s pulled tight
and times when it’s slack
as though you’ve gone.
If I said it’s like a summer’s afternoon,
on the beach, with the sun shining on me.
Then at other times it’s as though
the sky’s become overcast
and I’m shivering, pulling my clothes back on.
My damp swimming costume clinging to me underneath.
If I said it’s like when music illuminates my soul
say a Chinese lute or a Bollywood chorus.
Then for every time I fuse with that sound
there’s also a time it changes into a
Moroccan sintir, quite without warning
and I feel like a stranger in my own land.
If I said it’s like getting home
and I’ve forgotten my keys
and I can see the lamps on inside.
Then I sit on the step feeling cold,
waiting for someone to come open the door.
and wondering if it’s inside or outside
that I truly belong.
Would you understand?