Red-Eye

The plane makes its fluid, plummeting turn, and my window fills with land

Dear country, did you wait for me?
Did you halt yellow trains as they vipered the engineered rural,
did you quiet currents, letting duckweed
slowly lock the waters—have you been a grand museum
of immobile waterfowl and ruminants, flies
on their nostrils, millipede life under leaf rot,
stock still—where it rained, did glass drops hover
in a splintered universe of damp,

dear land, when I dropped the spindle, did you pull the main?
Did you freeze in the air the motions of bicyclists, hooligans,
vendors, classroom chalk scraping in cursive,
past imperfect—was there a static silence
on all radios?

Sunrise. Here is that private sea scrolling in,
typing you an endless letter. The plane makes its fluid, plummeting turn,
and my window fills with land. Here is the clay
that holds the brittle calcium of them who made me, have they waited—
because I waited for you, in my blind and percolating marrow
all the years I waited, sleepwalking, speaking a daft language flawlessly.

Now the roads are ribbons, and the cars begin to crawl,
and I would like to rise with you, I’d like to be so awake.
I’ve drunk repeated coffees from a small and unbreakable cup
that a child might use to serve tea to a wiry monkey
and a one-eyed bear. But I have left
her in another country, sleeping.
And my hands shake.

Sadiqa de Meijer
Sadiqa de Meijer’s debut collection, Leaving Howe Island, was a nominee for the Governor General’s Award for English-language poetry in 2014 and for the 2014 Pat Lowther Award.

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