the words I've learned for supplication,
gratitude, will go unused. Love is a look
in the eyes in any language, but not here,
not this year. They have not been welcoming.
I used to think the world was where we lived
in space, one country shining in big dark.
I saw a photograph when I was small.
Now I am Alien. Where I come from there are few jobs,
the young are sullen and do not dream. My lover
bears our child and I was to work here, find
a home. In twenty years we would say This is you
when you were a baby, when the plum tree was a shoot ...
We will tire each other out, making our homes
in one another's arms. We are not strong enough.
They are polite, recite official jargon endlessly.
Form F. Room 12. Box 6. I have felt less small
below mountains disappearing into cloud
than entering the Building of Exile. Hearse taxis
crawl the drizzling streets towards the terminal.
I am no one special. An ocean parts me from my love.
Go back. She will embrace me, ask what it was like.
Return. One thing---there was a space to write
the colour of her eyes. They have an apple here,
a bitter-sweet, which matches them exactly. Dearest,
without you I am nowhere. It was cold.