Friday, July 09, 2004

The Baggage Card

I move & my baggage comes with me.
I stand still. It snaps at my ankles then rises up
& wraps around me like a cloak or a
kaftan. (I prefer these images to that
of a bodybag which also comes to mind.)

I try heading off in unexpected directions
but it gets there before me. I visit friends. My baggage
is peering out their window, waving me away. I go
to speak & my words come out as echoes
of what it has already said, pre-empting
my thoughts. Silence is my last defence.

My baggage has become more than me
while I am becoming less; & that is not
becoming. I waste away. It tours the world,
gets written up in the social pages taking in openings
& art galleries, is seen at a bullfight in the
Camargue, flyfishing in New Zealand, wearing leather
in San Francisco. I break my silence, beg it
to come back. Now it becomes the mute.

I receive a postcard of a Louis Vuitton valise
with a Guadeloupe postmark. My name & address
are written in an elegant cursive script. There is
no message but the message
is clear. My baggage has moved up
in the world & I am on my own. Unaccompanied.

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