staying is a journey

late at the airport —
if I miss my flight, what then?
remain where I am?
— instinctively I reach for
my wallet — but it’s empty

Best I could do with a very imperfectly remembered dream, in which my flight was at eleven o’clock and it was becoming increasingly clear there were too many delays on the journey to the airport. I was going to have to pay for a whole new ticket home. In the dream I assumed I had the money, but I took some poetic licence, and chose to challenge that assumption when it came to the poem, because it felt to have been made so very thoughtlessly, in the dream. The idea of fixing everything with money just seemed entirely suspect. The flight time of 11.00 clearly chimes with some thoughts I’ve been having about death and the dead. If I have an imaginative relationship with ‘the dead’ is that the same as having an imaginative relationship with death itself? Eleven o’clock is the time when we remember the dead on Remembrance Day (11th November). Taking off in an aeroplane suggests the event of death. If my flight represents my death, how can I ever be late for my own death? I like the idea that I just accept being where I am, without hankering after flying (dying). I watched a film called My Life Without Me last night, which probably provoked these thoughts, as it is about a girl who gets diagnosed with terminal cancer at the age of 23.


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