Red-eye

The Walrus - - CONTENTS - by Sadiqa de Meijer

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.

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