Dear Scott

I was 19 when I met you
in the summer of ’44
along the streets of Edinburgh
and right away
I named myself after
the gentle breeze of the morning air
the gleaming yellow of the sun
In my mind was a picture
of a dandelion I never had
Your footsteps left me with nothing
but a song

I spent the summer next
listening to some Scottish indie band
I happen to stumble upon
in my desperate search
across the flower fields
for traces of your arrival
People laugh thinking
“What a fool!”
But then again who are they
to blame us when we dream
We seekers of nothing

Scottish sounds too much
like rotten cheese
Blame it on my imagination
Or perhaps my lack of it
But either way I make up words
as I go, as I run
thinking I might stumble upon you
along the road
But Scotland is too far
from the sandy shores
where I put my heart
home

And foreign music
so much like this foreign song
is a kind of invasion
I’m reminded of paradise
and the painful penetration
of something completely
different, removed
from the songs of our childhood
by the shades of a lonely tree
by the waves of the crashing sea
Your grandmother’s voice
sweet in my memory
erased by the hourglass
until there is nothing left but
this harboring sense of loss
and the unfamiliar rhythm of a foreign song
as the Scotts spew lyrics among us
like madness in the fuming air

They say
Swim until you can’t see land
But your limbs are designed only to fly
Swim until you can’t see land
The coast is invisible in her drowning eyes

Swim
until water rush past the roof of your mouth
Swim
until nothing is left of you but sand
I see your fear of drowning
I see your wanting to stay afloat
I would swim through half of the globe
if only to see
But I could not tread
this lonely little river
inside of me

Come back to me
and teach me how
to write in
sentences
again

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