States of Poetry Series Three - ACT | 'A trip to the library' by Miranda Lello

I set out one morning to return a book and five years later I have not returned; face
pressed into the dirty skin of the Earth. In the bushes I stare from scrubby branches skin
angry with red rashes trace paths travelled. I remember two of the things I left behind –
a copy of The Brothers Karamazov and a poem I wrote in Mexico. Tears catch in my eyes
at sunset and I bow my head to the night and howl like a beggared king. My raggedness
defends me from seasons such as these. I come to the ocean and remember a story I
wrote that ended that way. I scoop a handful of sand. My wrist aches. Once you could
see the blue veins along the inside of my elbow, my arm, my wrists, my palms now I am
covered with maps of a lake, a bridge, a stand of bamboo with a house behind, a river
hemmed by walls, a tunnel through blackberry bushes. I stand on wet sand. We are born
screaming to this stage of fools because we know what’s coming; we forget. The ocean
catches my ankles and is all remembering. I do not know the way back but I am home
for a time in the water under the clouds. One day the ocean will dissolve into the sky.
The sky is all forgetting. I set out this morning to return a book and in the evening the
sun drowned itself in the ocean. An unexpected development we are unlikely to witness
again.

Miranda Lello


Contains lines from King Lear.