Crossing The Water

In this climate 
it is the far things, the deep things, 
the islands one reaches to touch,
the inviolable, the unavailable,
the rock at the heart of your world
that steadies the spin and lurch
yet hurts your hands as you hold.

You, the quiet touchstone,
rock of my youth
anchoring the mind -
your stone weight
a dead weight in the middle
of the room
like a piece of meteorite
weighting down all things, invalidating
all things since you, calibrating my
days till the touch of experience
finds me wanting.

Ten years hence 
from then 
to now's winters
and I would be
26 minus 9 and I was
17 and in love with your freckled
and all of you - your fine mind,
quiet voice, bitten fingers,
all that music singing in your blood -
conspires to haunt me as I brood
and wake to draw-on my current life 
like a scratchy overcoat
all abrasive, overwrought.

And you - the lodestone,
the heart's seam,
the anchor, weighty author of my mind -
are buried somewhere in the dark
but holding, holding onto light
that signals me and my ship moored,
lures me away from cold
and jump-off points to
nothing and to loss.

I could trawl the world's
seas and never find
your contours rising
O dark island,
the core of gravity, 
the stomach's pitch and toss
with good rock weight
yet bright
with wings and trees,
alive with birdsong
threading crags and gullies
that are real before my eyes.
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