Like a rolling stone… (for J.B.)

Like a rolling stone… (for J.B.)

She had a chameleon sense of self, a heart that gathered moss around its edges, a spirit rising freely with the damp and a global soul, at home in airports.

My Father’s house has many rooms, she read from a pamphlet handed out by a missionary.

‘He speaks Spanish and knows about water irrigation,’ she said. ‘We spoke of home and nation, history and tradition. And we had a similar take on Exodus.’

A lifeboat, anchored like an auxiliary verb, waited to ferry me to the other side of her sentence.

‘We spoke of anonymity and absence… And when I offered him a coin, he asked for smaller change.’

I showed her my jealous sense of self; the cavity in my chest that had once housed her heart.

So she packed a rucksack and went through the door.

‘I’ll send you a postcard,’ she called, not once looking back.

For hours I sat in the darkened room, telling myself she hadn’t truly left the building.

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