by Tom McLaughlin
Read by Tom McLaughlin
Your mother calls you crying as we ride
mountainbikes downhill with foreigners.
She is inconsolable, can’t abide
letting go of the boy who has brought her
sliced apples and water in bed twenty three
years in this godforsaken city where
fruit ripens twice a year in dazzling plenty
while young men wait their prime out listening
at the door of others’ lives unhappily.
Twenty three years and you’ve grown tired waiting
for the moment to release your stifled
sighs, to open your mouth and finally sing.
We reach the hill’s bottom, breathless, baffled
by grief’s reach and the ways a life unravels.
On wild Tayrona’s sacred shores you stood
naked, ankle-deep in water turbid as
your family home, while your mind emptied.
No quiero volver a usar ropa mas
nunca. That night we slept in a tent high
in the mountains and all existence was
spread out glistening below us like a ripe
mango waiting to drop or to be picked.
We resolved to live seperately and I
imagined the Atlantic between our lips
even as I watched your eyelashes
cast a shadow under my fingertips.
Reluctant to receive your baffling riches,
l lay thinking of cool, damp, forest mosses.