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   t r a v e l

--- G I L E S   G O O D L A N D

Through the sheets of night we traveled,
and the road bore no trace. Tail-lights 
blushed, the road was unclear.
We held our ideas, assumed
silence, set out for the world.
Cities pushed light under the clouds,
then the flashback of a thrown cigarette.
An edge-of-vision tree, a spent moon.
We rested without interest, coins
ageing like the face of the Queen.
Once in a word we traveled
and in a country without definition
plants found rootholds in names 
on the map where we could see 
roads lean. Aimed at dawn, we traveled.
Night populated the cars, years 
hid their heads in cloud-vapour.
Our heads parted midge-clouds,
the path fleshed under our feet.
A lot of language was caught between 
car-parks, seagulls in pre-orgasm
cutting the corner of scream.
A road-machine and its ice anointed us,
there was no solving your particles.
Under pillows we travelled and through
laughing mines as faces illuminated 
under their spectacles, the air shone,
the clouds were atmospheric,
memory was dust behind a motorbike.
Our dreams cracked and spilt 
matter through sleep-shaped holes.
In another inflection of this we cried out
and lost many languages as the road 
gathered gravel in its fist, enemies
waiting in their hands, we believed,
the shebang of night staring in.
The trees laughed off their leaves
as if time was heavy and light folded on us.
We came to translate words as thin 
as mist, fingers boded, we traveled
nautical miles and undergrounds,
bedrocks and ice-sheets, ogres groped
from icy skyscrapers, slivers of sunlight 
melted in our hair across contingents and 
under ozones where soldiers danced one 
another to death. We paced the stars and
snacked the moon like a crisp and pulled
the sky open, we paused for a lengthy
termination and hospitals opened days
and planes scorned the mountains as 
busses came unnumbered and
we traveled through forests of consequence.
Sometimes we could see through the haze
that miles are made of nothing
but thought and iambic rivers fall from light.
Parts of us were carried away
by mosquitoes, piles of us were left
for sleep. The frozen skin on the dead 
was as firm as the rind of a rosehip, we 
stood in camps and were sorted into species.
So we traveled, and the skin
wore to leather and pieces of us fell 
overboard and we left our bodies 
in rags, and traveled the intricacies of air.

© crossconnect, inc 1995-2006 |
published in association with the |
university of pennsylvania's kelly writers house |