Week 7

The second to last week
And things have been no more normal
than they were on week one.
What I have learned from London
is what I have learned of life in
The unexpected time in limbo
while travelling across borders
across decisions —
It makes me no less uneasy here than at home
but it seems more expected
in a place not called home.

Day 1 on a Sunday night and
A late flight from Barcelona
Means an arrival at work at 10 a.m.
tanned and bewildered once more
at the noise and pollution and the damp
that lingers in the bones and lungs
coughing up a slap of the face
of a phone call from home saying:
“Your grandmother is dead.”

And I, so far from home,
so far from any place she ever visited
cannot cry on London’s shoulder
Because I don’t even know where her heart is
in the midst of the work, eat, drink, sleep, repeat.

So day who knows– day enough —
a walk through the Wellcome collection,
a welcome of those who are curious
I am curious,
and I am naive to think that
an exhibit on humans would forget death.

An opportunity to light a candle
to put alongside those already lit
for people I will never know
and I grabbed it without thinking,
flick of a light and

I cried in the gallery with those strangers
who didn’t know my name or where I was from
who knew nothing but the fact I was human too
moving forward in the same relentless hustle

But we were all there
to take a moment to stop the spinning
to reflect on humanness

Not londoness
Or worldliness
Not him or her or him or her or anyone
Just humans through ages and spaces
no farther from normal than me
No closer to home than I feel
Walking through border patrols
without fully understanding the meaning of “border.”

But in London
A city of foreigners
A city of 6-, 9-, 12- month leases and then
Who knows?

In Life
I surely don’t know.


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