I scrambled down the hot dun-sprayed rocks, the barren fields below me opening their shrivelled arms, drawing me in to their hollowed chests. The sky peered down, naked. Empty. Perhaps I was lost. Perhaps I wasn’t really here. Perhaps it wasn’t really there.
But the claustrophobic grip of déjà-vu tightened, I was clutching at mirages, gasping for real air. I knew these hills, that ebony raven, that banyan tree, its roots rushing to the ground with swirling memories of fresh earth and ancient petrichor. Even these bleeding scratches were familiar. I remembered the taste of swallowed screams, the blazing purple of inevitable pain.
And then I saw it. The lone cottage by the dry canal, its desolation dimming the sullen light. I pushed open the door and there he was -in the peeling paint, in the motionless curtains, in the books lined on crude wooden shelves, in my picture staring at me from his desk, in the unfinished poem waiting by the empty bed.
just the sound
of the afternoon wind
knocking, still knocking