Doing It Again, 1988

Shattering dream of the distant
Rising pain of the familiar.

You dive in the old sea gladly, expecting
the fish to be the same
But here are new fish and changed fish
and someone’s moved the rocks.

You get lost in it
but not lost enough
Enough of it remains unchanged
to send the knives of the forgotten familiar revisited
Slicing and spiking into you.

And the distant —
where you have been all this time —
the distant with its other ways,
other clothes,
other weather,
other people,
the distant lurks as a lateral lance
waiting to push you back into itself
And you know it will happen
(your flight is booked)
But you shield yourself from it with
Brazen black
and haunting, dragging smells

And you vow
(yet again)
that next time you fly
from the distant to the familiar
next time you do it again
You will stay
and shatter the dream of the distant
Satisfy the pain of the familiar.