When old friends set on me allusions free of the stain of you, I turn back and look for you among lost years. I realize there was a time when river maps were only blue leafless branches on a white sheet that rendered the sea colourless as well, that the map would never change no matter how many rivers died on their way to a sea of vengeful hue.
At ten years, I was allowed to swap my pencil for a fountain pen. I was tired of dreams vanishing in clouds of eraser dust, and in the bloodshed of spilled ink and struck out words I made sense of them.
Were you the last blank page at the end of a story book, the page left intentionally blank as if inviting an alien pen to a happier ending? Were you waiting for that final flip of the page, the fingerprint of a goodbye kiss, the kiss that is the beginning of a yellow and musty end din a dusty glass prison?
Were you that extra drop water that caused the paint off my brushstrokes to seep outside pencilled edges?
Were you the unfamiliar word that worked slowly out of a tunnel in the slow-descending light of adulthood and meanings?
Were you among the feet that rubbed the finish line out of when mine was the second last pair of legs to heed the whistle?
Where were you till the day I finally remembered to turn my pockets out before my clothes disappeared into a tumble-dry ordeal only to find it empty? Not one candy wrapper whizzes out of invisible dustbin, not a single stolen coin, secrets have given up n me.
What were you doing before you led me up hilltops in strange lands where sunsets forced down love upon me, another credulous traveller?
6 months ago