I forget. I forget where I started out, who was with me.
Were you there? And you? It’s only now I have noticed
that I am walking alone. Cobbled pathways in a different city.
Sea waves out in force on rocky shores shattering the dawn mist.
There is so much comfort and warmth in a group
Friends, strangers, the neat categories of acquaintance,
stifling heat of laughter. Never the chill of holding aloof,
never walking alone with the dawn spray even once.
Every seashore, every path is precious, tender, dawn fresh
when I am alone. Hard footsteps ring on stone
clear and solitary amidst the muted, relentless rush
of wind or water. Undisturbed. Elements on their own.
I forget where I started out, but when I loop back again
I stand at that same spot with you, where the journey began.
I’m not sure if I moved off, or you dropped one by one
like leaves do by the wayside and then are dribbled away
by careless feet, by the sweeping reckless walk of women -
the brush of hems and borders. Things that heave and sway.
I only noticed when the wind blew harder into my hair
when I was thrown to the silences, when the spray struck at my cheek.
As the cold crept up my exposed skin without this barrier -
the crush of bodies absorbed into the chatter of group-speak.
All this spray that stings my face, every wind that billows
into my hair and my clothes in needle sharp profusion
every press of step on stone, every road that goes
winding alone into blinded corners - none of them feels foreign.
I’m not sure who left whom, who wanted to stay or quit
But wherever I stop, I find your face at every point of transit.