southerly change

Why did you leave without saying goodbye? A redundant question - it has happened before. Before what? This latest occasion. The skies are grey, the moon is full, unseen behind those cloudy clouds. The palms bend in the wind that blew down the street some eight hours ago, and blows still. Still blows. Tremendously. Why did you leave without? We went swimming anyway, the pool was full of leaves, there was someone sunbathing in a pink bikini who reminded me so strongly of you I felt momentarily insane. Her husband, solicitously, covered her with a towel, later their son got out and then couldn't undo the knot on the plastic bag full of fruit drinks. We, my sons and I, came back here and sat on the couch while I read half a chapter of Treasure Island out loud. They don't really get the antiquated language, though every word speaks. Yet they're interested too, how could they not be? Treasure? Island? I want that map, it's not about money, doubloons or pieces of eight, nickels and dimes, those shiny bits you throw me now and again. It's a map of the future I want, I can dig, where to dig? I can search, where to search? I can ... endure. What for? A girl pauses out front and picks from the garden a hot pink geranium to add to her bouquet. I can see the sudden explosion in her eyes of the colour of the flower she has to bend and pluck. Can feel her happiness in the change in her walk as she goes on to her assignation. Why did you? I want not to wait and will wait. I want to go and will stay. I want not to want. Why?

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