The Best Position in Which to Drown

When the ground shed its paving and rose, hump-backed out of the atlantic
and we stepped into clean air
and we took it down till we shed the paving crusted around our lungs,
I skim-read horizons
for a sunrise we first met three months earlier.

I leave my phone in the house, dying next to a bust of Charlie Chaplin
and we cast days in bronze
in your grandfather’s four-by-four
while he talks us through the world’s first transatlantic telegraph cable:
its searching, lonely hand reaching under the ocean’s skirts all the way from Valentia to Newfoundland.

The world outside my window is so beautiful it’s funny. It’s relentless.
It makes me shut the fuck up
while your mum’s dad’s surprising music taste tilts the view into montage
and he tells us how many eggs you get for breakfast on a navy ship.
Flamenco dancers in the sky spread their white skirts and spin
to Kendrick Lamar and the Grand Theft Auto soundtrack.

While your grandad explains the best position in which to drown,
my eyes go heavy-lidded and slutty for the distance.
Bushes dress the view
then drop away with no warning,
the geographic peep show stealing my breath like your two fingers in the cold, crisp morning.

We spot cows.
We play word games.
We don’t mention the fact that two days earlier as our plane peeled itself from London,
I, belly full of turbulence, Guinness and paper-cup whisky,
asked you to marry me.

I have walked into oceans so warm, there’s not a second of pain as your feet, waist and even shoulders fall under the hood.
And you ask me to repeat myself but I know you heard me the first time
because there’s not a second of pain before you say yes:
not a decision but a statement of fact.
Is the sky blue?
Yes.

The next day we skim stones across the surface of the unknown
with no hunger for churches or tasting menus.
It’s still our first holiday.

When the ground throws us up from another runway and London catches us,
we are not exactly engaged
but we both know the colour of the sky.

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