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Visiting Old Bends

by angela arnold

Every new-old stretch of road seems to settle particles:

life stuff once uncannily suspended, me stuff

now precipitated. Every flake of that

is put in its rightful place

in the inscrutable bowels of a here-but-not-now;

a properly bewitched return.

Every curve, every corner cut

(historically briskly), each eye-on-ditch manoeuvre pat:

moments only a twin could, so knowingly, have unpacked.

This coat of all along; that freshly laundered shirt of ago. Stories in them. That bend, this view – not a flood at all but something standing-stone solid; something long engraved in the softest possible place. Old friends,

shockingly, have far less impact on my system.

Flesh, blood, muscle – my pedal-wise feet don't remember them. My body doesn't lean into them, unbidden, alarmingly; busily listening to a bunch of old tarmac bones singing their songs of love, snug in the pit of my gut.

Spectral bones, blackly branded in place, they stay. And stay. Do pain. Do elation. Do explicable sighs.

And now it's an effort to remember which, which soft-bodily friend I'm about to see, 2 pm, dot of now, in this hall of all that has stood still.


Image by Bree Anne
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