WALKING IN THE DAYS OF THE VIRUS #5

WALKING IN THE DAYS OF THE VIRUS
(#5 The field at night)

Awoken by church bells and applause
the room pitch black
What day is it
What year is it
What country is this where people
get married at night

I sniff and it hits me
By the time I lean out the window
they’ve already stopped
This is the glum sound
of two hands clapping

Heart raced through the daymares 
that have already faded
No cough, no fever
but don’t hold your breath
literally 

Last year’s calendar
still hanging by the fridge
Two and a half months 
still haven’t replaced it
and I won’t bother now
The pages of any new calendar
would be too heavy to lift

Spare keys bleached
in a blue envelope
ready for David’s letterbox
two streets away
My dear friend and neighbour
on both the continent
and the island

Not sure if that hot shower
lasted five minutes
or an hour
No more mornings or evenings
just random light or dark
from nap to nap

Out the door
Letterbox empty
David hasn’t dropped his keys yet
No bills, no books,
no bullshit brochures

Passing by the cemetery wall
the air smells of eucalyptus
Perhaps they’ve disinfected the street
yet nothing looks wet
Could it be the cherry trees
I reach up on tiptoe
The flowers smell like crushed almonds
Mmmm
Ufffffff
No easter figolla
for me this year
Might ask zija to keep me one
in the shape of a fish
or a plane
or Filfla

Right, left,
into David’s street
Lift the metal flap 
with the edge of the envelope
Push and let fall
Grazzi sieħbi
The bifana of our lives awaits

Don’t feel like going home
The fields call
as if they were the sea

No such thing
as background music any more
It’s all too intense
to ignore
Earphones stay out tonight
I’ll listen to the music of the spheres
and their suspect machinations

Rue Demy Schlechter
The fearless pleasure of strolling
in the middle of the road
Abandoned roadworks
School’s closed anyway
Rue Nicholas Martha
Lines and cracks in the asphalt
Qalbs, look!
Two hearts in one
Or maybe a couple sleeping
feet together, heads apart
What you like to call
the butterfly position
Will send to you at sunrise

L’Étang du Kaltreis
Cold Trip Pond in Luxo-Français
if I’ve parsed it right

VILLE DE LUXEMBOURG
Interdiction de baignade

Were it not so late and early
I would fill the night with laughter

A containered lifebouy
Rettung Ertrinkender
An 11-picture storyboard
of someone drowning, pulled out,
resuscitated mouth-to-mouth
That’s two or more lives in danger
if a bad swimmer falls in

Notruf 112
Note to self
Find the hotline number
and memorise its music

Playground closed off
A note from the blue lion
with a yellow crown

Chers résidents et visiteurs 
les aires de jeux sont fermées au public
jusqu’à nouvel ordre

Nouvel ordre
Ħmmmmmm
I see no elections
or revolution
any time soon

A circled beaver
and a nature trail map
Eyes too blurry 
to follow the paths

At the edge of the field
three black-on-yellow signs
on the same wooden post

Schutt abladen verboten!
Betreten verboten!
Unbefugten ist der Zutritt verboten!

Unloading of rubble - verboten
Unauthorised entry - verboten
Unjustified movement outside - verboten 
Unrelenting doubts and fears
a thousand times verboten

A large dot in the sky
Planet or satellite
One thing is certain
it’s no Star of Bethlehem

I came to this field for nothing
Eyes too tired to lose themselves
Not one grain of salt in the air
No breathing of waves 
No slightly curved horizon
No memories of a near future
that never came

Runway lights behind the forest
Tomorrow night the last plane for Malta
before Gudja airport closes
Continent or island
where would I be safer
Rented flat in Bonnevoie
or nanna’s empty house in Kirkop
Were this the apocalypse
I’d much rather drown in the sea
but it probably isn’t
is it
even if all airports
are now a mini-Chernobyl

The dew’s falling now
Something in my cheeks
and at the back of my head
tells me it’s time to go inside
before my eyes spill too
though I wouldn’t mind tasting the salt

Back in my street
the scent of the cherry bloom
I carefully snap off a sprig
with eight little flowers
I’ll place it in a tumbler with water
on the desk next to Ottu
sitting on the pile 
of travel notebooks
that have lost all meaning

I open the letterbox again
instinctively
though I already know it’s empty
No news is good news
especially when
no news is good

Back inside
Suddenly groggy
I drank no rum tonight
but feel dizzier than if I had

---

#timezones #walking #covid19

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