Poetry / February 2008 (Issue 2)

The Expat's Partner: An Email

by Alistair Noon

A hundred miles from swells and tides,
planks flotsam a building site.
Trees practise for spring with first buds,
though snow survives in dumper truck ruts.
Shadows of girders lattice the light.
The beaked pick at dark tufts.

At twenty we snogged in a low-lit squat bar,
cracked glass guitars and dirge vocals a serenade,
one-mark pilsner our aphrodisiac.
We came back for the next decade.

This year you flew to a contract with change,
to a shift no longer in sync with mine.
Jets sobbed above my head.
They banked into sunshine, my feet
almost floated from the ground.

Across these months we've coordinated calls,
your dawns my dusks,
tapped out alphabets along deep-sea cables,
like voices down halls,
clinked no bottles on chafed sofas.

Tell me the arrival time, the connecting flight,
I'll wait with my hands on the trolley brake.

Editors' note: Read "A Cup of Fine Tea: Alistair Noon's "The Expat's Partner: An Email"" here. Also, a review of Alistair Noon's At the Emptying of Dustbins is available in issue #8 of Cha.

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