And smile into my absence

In a sunlit corner of that city
Where I was and was not
I came upon someone fallen quiet
Who was myself and not myself.

Lifting his eyes he addressed me.
‘I am beside you now
Riding the breath but not staying.
What you need is this distraction.

When you wake the mirror clouds
With bloom of my exile breath.
You trace your name
And smile into my absence.’

— John Welch, from ‘Imagination and Dream’


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