Exile

Thoughts thinner than air
Leaped through the open doors of my mind
Then once more
through the closed windows of my room
To voyage on an aerial sea
Shivering in atmospheric cold
In search of a warm place to stay
Though not at some other window’s light
Not this town — Not here
but for
Places that can’t be found
Because though their geographical location
didn’t change
They’re actually a multitude of places
Variations of the same streets and buildings
Altered by smells, sounds and other people
Distinctions that didn’t seem to matter
When one witnessed them firsthand
But became vital in exile
Where memories turn numb faster
Like the sudden acceleration of decomposition
Once life has ended
So I sit here, thinking about places
Where kids already became skeletons
Wondering when goodbyes are finally accomplished
While I’m tracking airplanes with my eyes
Till their contrails leave scars on my heart
That stay
even after the rain
has washed images of flight off my retina.

Kerim Mallée

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