Desert song

a poem by Roddy Williams

Where you’re from it’s a long way

so far you have to throw your voice to ricochet

from clouds

early moons

late planes

Your chuckle gravels

laced with grit and grains of sand because

you laugh much closer to the land

Where you’re from it’s a long way

so far that no one can see you

without booking the Hubble

You live two hours ahead

When I arrive at noon you are

already gone

leaving only your timescaled musk

hanging over lunch like the scent

of an hour hand

or an ill-timed gong

It’s a long way where you’re from

I would need to cross the years

run out of my life

jump out of plummeting excuses

having abandoned all my baggage

and just fly

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