Back In BC

Sometimes I close my eyes and I’m
back in British Columbia.
Basking in the breeze
swirling around Stanley Park
shaking the leaves outstretched from trees.
I’m back on Kitsilano beach,
where the sand scolds my soles,
and works its way between my toes,
where the sun is too bright,
and sunscreen smeared sunglasses protect my sight.
I’m eating breakfast on a balcony,
and casting curious glances across the city,
sipping coffee from someone else’s cup.

I’m back watching improv shows,
with a sweet lesbians couple,
until one of them leaves, offended.
We follow her through the twilight streets,
past alleys of broken glass, under bridges
past skunks on cracked pavements,
until she gives up and stops, jaded.

I close my eyes and hear
tire spokes clicking by the shores,
as I cycle along the waterfront,
ambivalent.
As I cruise around the headland,
weaving my way between parked cars
and gargantuan sculpture horrors.
The sun at my back and my front,
the swans on the lake lifting as one
as I try and keep pace beside them.
Soaring up from Vancouver the way I did later
when it was over, and my tires had deflated.

So then I open my eyes,
and I’m back home. Only,
it feels less like home since I’ve been gone.
I’ve become a transient resident,
aching for distance and sad to settle,
for my travels had no end and no beginning
they’re a string unraveling inside me.
Stretching like those leaves,
yearning for distant city skylines,
and my thirst can never be sated.

And the more I close my eyes,
the more it happens.
I’ll be doing laundry at thirty-five,
and be transported once more to Granville Isle.
The shirt I’m washing will feel a relic,
and I’ll feel the same way,
unless it’s a Laundromat in Vancouver again.

Chichester, August 2016

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