A Lisbon

“His language of images makes it possible to understand familiar things without their ceasing to be unfamiliar. Simile brings distant things near while at the same time freezing them in an image protected from the ravaging force of habit.” Peter Szondi, from Walter Benjamin’s City Portraits.

The wings in the chest, do we feel them lift and part a little as the body sleeps, sense them stir towards the night and their full span, trace the way they brush against the heart and urge it join them in the outward rise to unknown airs…

She is walking, across the city’s centre, home. She is passing doorways and shop windows, cutting through streets and squares, threading light and shadow in her progress. Imagine her walking, as she makes her world, it fans wide and catches the day. All those days and months we are not with her…

How can the fan, once spread, forget the landscape it discovered in its folds, turn its fragile life on the wind, the world it caught in its leaves and held like a lover for a fleeting night…

To kindle the handset back to life, its screen catching, glowing. The constant hope for messages, her silent writing across the map…

The small sea in the room of late afternoon, light in gentle dance across the grain: leaf light, forest waters, somewhere else…

The constant seeing the city generates gathers by day’s end as a resistant crust among the lashes. This is only fought by looking long at the sky or closing one’s own sight by immersing it in her eyes.

The fugitive fragility of her glance, our gaze, ourselves.

A Lisbon in our azure melancholy, a holding onto our pale hills as the sea endlessly gives, endlessly takes away. As we sleep into the receding horizons of hope…

“But keep moving forward, friend; you must.” Ian Penman

His Comedy animate! commission © Paul Bush 1994

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