Who in this world knows anything of any other heart – or of his own?
Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier

So we went into the mist | and it wasn’t figural mist, or symbolic mist | or ironic mist, it was just, you know, mist… | But that wasn’t here | We were just starting to fall in love, or at least | I was | Shoes fall out of the sky, shoes, coats, laptops | scattered over a wide area | paper and nylons | over 13 kilometres | if we didn’t know better | we might have thought it was biblical | What were other people | doing with their lives? | I could have been one of Noah’s neighbours, wondering | what was he up to, building that huge ship | in the middle of the desert? | I would have been puzzled | watching him every day | in that hard, dry, stony place | working away | on his project | I would have been tender, but superior | tender, though | in that nascent stage of love before | love’s paranoia | really took hold | three vultures in a tree nearby | might have squawked | desultorily | and Noah would have ignored me | just concentrated | on planing at timbers | scuffing curly shavings from the rough cedar | and I would have slipped away | towards my rendezvous with you | thinking of Noah, or of the pink shoe | lying on the ground | the laptops, the burst | suitcases | all the casual wreckage | strewn around | other people’s lives | In the woods it was cool, and damp | if anything, the mist | deepened | your fleece grew sodden | our skin and hair | visibility was poor | for some reason, I was afraid | to kiss you | already scared | I’d been mistaken | that you didn’t, really, care for me | that I would run out of petals | at the wrong place…

It could have been any one of many other | stories | We packed her Gruffalo, her little pink shoes | for her little pink feet | the brush for the hair she would brush | the books for the words she would read | She rose to be CEO | He contributed significantly | to the development | of the parachute | He compiled a list of all the | airline disasters… | You understand | In the meadow with the buttercups | in a world before nostalgia | was invented | or in a restaurant in the Shard | loaned those moments of godhead | money can provide | my ego | alternatively ballooning | or withering to a dot | She loves me: She loves me — | Drinking espresso martinis | forgetting the gist of my speech | the gentleness I meant | to show | Taking an age | to correct the face | in the sloppy mirror | Kissing you at precisely the right moment | meticulously | sorting the papers | Carefully, carefully | packing the wreckage

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from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)

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