Ukrainian mink

I can still ride my bicycle with no hands, today I discovered that. I guess it’s one of those things that’s… well, you know.

Like climbing my childhood ladder with no hands. She still got it.

I rode to the beach and sat amongst sunshine. Looking out over the peninsular I felt nothing for it. I knew I should be coo-ing over the beauty of it all, but I couldn’t. I recognised the familiar stretch of ocean. Those syrupy sands dashed wish red rocks and native grasses. I saw people strolling, could hear their ooh’s and ahh’s from my perch on the cliff. In that moment I felt like crying.

A plane jutted in and out of cloud cover overhead and I checked my phone. One hundred and sixty-two days until I’m pushed back into my seat, buckle digging into my stomach and the heat of early autumn forcing its way through tiny windows.

Kissing my mother’s cheeks goodbye at the international departure zone where the notion of home sets me free. Paper notes in my purse and letters for my chosen family tucked into my journal for safekeeping between Melbourne and the Springs.

Oh, how I long to be covered in the sweet, symphonic embrace of distant souls. Tangled in conversation and heartbeats holding heartbeats in the palms of hands the very same size as mine own.

How tantalising the taste of altitude meshed with attitude. How bright the sun and cold the last snows of winter.

I inch achingly close to you with every text, every day laid to rest in the casket of my calendar with a simple slash as I slump into bed at all hours.

Be it dusk or dawn, company causes shifts in motion. Sleep is the antidote to minutes that feel like decades while creativity is a paradoxical equation.

How some lines feel heavy in duration and others a mere sprint. Catharsis is found by needle point, beneath bright lights and the hum of machines where being vulnerable is my skin being caressed by the sweet kiss of permanence.

Until the tender kiss of death’s chapped lips holds me under like siren’s steal sailors.

Sitting in a storm of unease swirled with ecstasy at a safe distance from the sand I watched that plane as it dissolves into the distance. I held my hand and closed my eyes,

one hundred and sixty-two days

until home is not just a memory.

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