On leaving a friend (poem)

You are a foreign country to me now.
Your self reshaped, collecting isles of rough land,
Filled with herbs and heights and barren places,
Endless summers through unpredictable monsoons.
Cities. Crowds; noise; movements; never sleeping –
Folks play strange tunes in dimmed lights, cease
only to begin again. Familiar notes; ever stranger.
When the cities fade you fly, head in the sky,
Along the shore, over the ocean, away and back,
You flow transparently through cliffs unexplored.

You are where you want to be, somewhere else now,
Off the map and I don’t know how to find you.
I draw roads on air, fill in, revise, almost real,
Travel through your stories, follow the trails –
Sometimes I’ve almost found your way.
But then, they lead everywhere. I’m never there.
And I love the places you were, but, this time,
I’d rather be where I am.

I am quiet plains, forests, trees made of words,
Wilderness. Disorder. New land I’ve known forever,
Through solitary valleys – over hills, rising and falling –
If some day, you will look for me,
My love is where you were.


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