Kajan said: If love is the centre of the circle,
then indifference is the perimeter.

I imagined an Emperor in a science fiction novel, someone immortal,
who knew that a diamond, if left long enough in one place,
would turn to dust.

I thought of you, all those years before.

Then we used to look at each other for so long and so deeply,
it seemed as if we must surely know an adolescent secret.

So the centre of everything is love? I asked Kajan.
No, the centre of everything is indifference, he told me.

With a seabird, perfumed movement, you dipped your chin
against your shoulder. We floated in the train,
the shower over the city at dusk,
all the lights wet, supersaturated, car brakes like blood,
and the pharmaceutical blues of a chemist’s…

I love you for sure, you said.

Around us, the city spread out towards the horizon
like a thousand years…

But I thought you said love is the centre?,
I pointed out, watching the translucent ropes of bubbles
sway in my bottle of beer.

Kajan grinned. I did. Love is the centre of the circle.
But the perimeter is inside the centre.
And indifference is the heart of love.