Hand fishing line
First aid kit
my eyes adjust slowly,
ageing wood and dust,
A church is a church.
Glancing to the left of me
a deep red wall
the dying man held aloft is vibrant,
flanked on either side
by parched houseplants,
leathery leaves that
dust on my fingertips.
Will you weep for me, you, others?
The thin veil of your capacity is as hollow as your form,
dead as the tree you came from,
an artefact, lifeless.
The crimson surrounding you seduces me.
I cannot pray as I know you are affected,
bloody reflection playing across my face.
Dios te salve María
llena eres de gracia
el Señor es contigo;
bendita tú eres
entre todas las mujeres,
y bendito es el fruto
de tu vientre, Jesús.
Santa María, Madre de Dios,
ruega por nosotros, pecadores,
ahora y en la ahora
de nuestra muerte. Amén
Utterances flutter past my aural senses,
the humour of her accent is soft,
gently quiet as she communicates,
intimate love shared
Smells assault me now and from memory, merging timelines with
a gentle nudge, whispering ‘ you know this place’. Processions of
travellers emerging from the air conditioning of the planes into the
warmth surround me, I have only one foot in the now as currently
I am taken, taken to an as yet formless memory of place made from the past.
Time remains uncollapsed.
I know I was here, with them and mother, I know they came here
before I was and with me when I was. The annual trip to another
land, exotic and promising. He loved the tomatoes and vegetables
from any market, self catered so we could buy Spanish things to
eat and drink, teabags packed as ‘they are not the same here’.
The forest here is unrecognisable, not dark and with no sense of the deep foreboding of pine, it is light the trees are smaller and impenetrable from the path
due to the thickness of the undergrowth. We walk on for some time and found no way at all to deviate from the designated path. A promise here and there only to be barred after a few
steps, the wildlife feels present and close, holding it’s breath
then flurry of movement, a sharp fear rises in my chest when I see
something running on the edge of my vision. A large deer breaks cover and jumps into the
There are now noises all around and the forest lives.
The whole time we are here, only police and fire service pass by
in trucks and vans, they crane their necks to see us, no other people, slowing down
and they look totally puzzled at our presence. This place is uncanny, in
the true sense of the word, I feel unwelcome and my walking here
unnatural, the barriers either side of the path oppressive,
enclosing. I wonder about the presence of the authorities and lack of any other people.