Out now, the years gone up in smoke, the firebird
in ashes. It’s time. The sun rolling up the slope
of the hill, forty-five degrees and slow can’t be good.

A thousand people rang the fire brigade last night.
A five year old was shot, children are burning.
I could write many verses to stop this flight

the packed red suitcase, the light’s pewter slant
on the water. And have. But back to leaving. I am
the ice blue nights, the carapace of wit

hidden like some mermaid’s cap
leaving the jewelled women, the men like cattle
heavy haunched, smug.

No plans, just a cheap flight to some mythic city
called Airport, or Hotel. We have no countries left
only high haunched Spain and the deep territories.

At night we miss them and whisper secretly
how we loved their fragile borders,
their lakes, their fields too green for mercy.

You’ll go to the interior, a good explorer.
I’ll take the coast.
How strange setting out in the world like this.

I hear the earth is not reliable, the poles
not where they ought to be. I never thought they would
but wanted stamps, and rest among the pilgrim souls

all maps discarded, just the studded way of paintings
signposted in shells, the hope of travellers’ courtesy
and all our road unravelling before us.