Location: St. Vincent & Grenadines

You were driving home in the dark on one glass-slippered heel, window sliced open and bathing in the snowliquor of the night air. We heard you singing, and couldn't bear to wake you.

27 May 2006

House on a red cliff.

There is no mirror in Mirissa
the sea is in the leaves
the waves are in the palms
old languages in the arms
of the casuarina pine
parampara, from
generation to generation

The flamboyant a grandfather planted
having lived through fire
lifts itself over the roof
the house an open net
where the night concentrates
on a breath
on a step
a thing or gesture
we cannot be attached to

The long, the short, the difficult minutes
of night
where even in darkness
there is no horizon without a tree
just a boat's light in the leaves
Last footstep before formlessness

Michael Ondaatje


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