Sunday 19 August 2018

Did it ever really go down?

Did it ever really go down?
That time on the ice-rink in China?

Maybe the place was up near Chengdu?
Or still in Kunming?
We took a bus near 9pm, right?
Then we walked the suburbs
and finally found the empty indoor rink
as the sun collapsed on us.

It sounds all wrong
and I’ve wondered
why there are no photos of those hours
or why we’ve not spoken of it since.
But I’m sure that once on our China trip
we skated some lonely ice-rink
late through the night
in a neighbourhood to the south of the country.

I have this one hazy memory
of you dressed in black:
you skate in circles at some point
then slowly draw near.
We stumble and embrace,
perhaps for the final time
before the decay.

Our damned decay.
Up till then,
we must not have even known decay.
We were but 22
—young love in a strange arena
in a part of the world
that already seemed unreal.

Or perhaps we never loved each other.
Perhaps we were far too young to.
Perhaps there was no such ice-rink.

But I think there was

and I feel my mind is struggling to recall it
for there are some things
only the heart can remember.

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