But it wasn’t getting here that mattered, it was movement and westering.
John Steinbeck, The Red Pony
Kiss me in this Ford Fiesta with the English number-plates,
its nose dipping into hedgerows where the wet grass
streaks off like a coat of vermicelli,
sprinkling its loosened seeds around the mud-flaps, and the gush
of brackish inexperience, everything that holds its breath to let us pass,
smacks up from the gutters of the road. As we
become a boomerang in orbit
sent back over what precluded ground, what world
that beckons and resists us.
Kiss me as the hills enlarge and shrink, for I
do not believe you when you say,
on these pin bends I seem to handle with a ham fist,
going both too quickly and too slowly
to ever get my finger on the pulse
of skies that steal their colours from abstraction,
or towns where the weather is a citizen, still,
and life a battle with its precepts, one long
surrender to its loans. No (though spark me up a cigarette,
and let faint smoke rings burgeon through my hair; your kiss
is like a gateway onto childhood
as the car lifts off the tummy-bumps, remember them
on the Clough and Comber roads?),
you will almost never nearly not convince me, quite,
that some small part of you (wheee! that reconfiguring of innards)
that part of you conceives of this as home.
The radio picks up the shipping forecasts – high winds
for Doolin Bay – and salt shapes language on the oyster of your tongue.