A half-empty house, glowing light in the middle but dark around the edges, like the slow sodium sunset that sets the car park on fire every night. Sometimes we watch it from the balcony, standing in the shadows, raising a glass; I think of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, of late-night heat, the windows of continental hotel rooms.
The sun has long since set. I feel like the sky before the storm, airless and restless; opening windows and doors, playing half a song and knowing the ending before it's begun, moving things from place to place like the wind kicks a can along the kerbside. My skin feels salty, scratchy, too small.
Nights like this I miss everything, everyone and everything ever touched and lost: boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends, new friends, rivers crossed and re-crossed, fire in open fields, a tiny kitchen with a skylight, a red carnation, a bench in the park on a stolen afternoon, two painted numbers, still water full of stars, 'sorry' scrawled on stone with stone, leather jackets many and various, poems published anonymously, a silver earring somewhere on the streets of Paris, kisses in alleyways, messages in bottles, names on pencil-cases, shells saved in pockets, green reeds strewn on the floor of a shed in the woods to dry and fade, sixteen-pointed stars made of paper, right the way back to the apple tree by the swing at the end of the long garden.
Lists are too easy, they swell like damp wood: I am crossing off items, I am tearing off the days, and there is nothing underneath except more days.
I am carrying a bag full of sand, with a hole in the bottom.
I am rattling around in a box full of bones.
How can you have so much, and lose so much, and still have so much to lose?