I can’t tell you everything.
The scale of that day seemed huge to me
as if I had shrunk back to the size of a child again
and the gravel was a magnet:
they couldn’t prise me away from the path.
She wore a bright red coat, and bright red stockings as well.
The way she walked, so purposeful and bold,
she could have conquered a city.
All the time, you’re frightened that the world will end,
and then, one day, it does.

By faint signs, he felt that autumn had begun
to infiltrate summer.
A certain lightness in the air,
a rarified quality; a particular stillness.
Spring seemed so far away.
Mildly disorientated, all she could do was look round,
and experience a kick of panic,
like people who have got off at the wrong stop.
Of course, everyone was telling their stories:
the encounter with Cameron, last night’s gig,
dawn seen from the volcano’s peak.
Not the great things, rising like mountains in the distance,
but a collection of all the little things lined up —
that constituted the essence of life
according to Barnaby.

Later, it seemed to her that their kiss
comprised a quiet, succulent Gestalt.
She didn’t sense the grief inside him —
the baggage of the ashes and the years.
When she fell apart, it was as if someone had dropped
a suitcase full of newspaper clippings —
the disparate accounts of sundry events,
bleached and faded, the paper yellowing,
the disaster edged with ads
for memory training and products for use against hair loss.
The cryptic surfeit of ordinary life —
at once dense and ephemeral, heavy and light —
collected in the void formed by his passing
like rainwater in hoofprints.

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