I am elsewhere as I write this,
lost in the gallop of my own heartbeat,
listening to its funny little rhythm,
the taste of coins spreading across my tongue.
I wet my lips,
I recall your words,
written a hundred years
and a billion breaths ago.
You're calling from African wastelands,
begging me come hither,
your imagined voice cooing from 34 Howland Street, London,
where you holed up and made a man mad in 1872;
Your syllables travelling across black seas,
inviting me in for tea and hashish at a minature, almost doll-like room
in the Rue Campagne-Premiere, Paris...
The length of your fingers amazes me,
cupped 'round a mint green mug ---
just seventeen, you.
And to think I first found you in a desert you never saw,
a desert you might have loved.
Your voice, as always, returns
as the promising smell of rain
brushes my face.