annwfyn: (love - pink heart)
[personal profile] annwfyn posting in [community profile] writing_shadows
Dawn comes fast in Sri Lanka, without the slow fade of the northern hemisphere. Still, I can feel it. I wake up in the velvet dark each morning, with the night time breeze cool on my skin. Beside me, my lover doesn’t wake, although he shifts a little, so I can slide out from beneath his arm. He has slept beside me for many years now. I pause for a moment, so I can inhale the rich wood-smoke and skin musk scent of him; my glorious perfect king in black.

“I adore you,” I whisper to him and I think he hears. He smiles in his sleep anyway, before he pulls the quilt up over his shoulders.

Outside the moon is bright and I blow her a kiss as I step out onto the sand. Mother Moon and I are old friends now. Each morning, she watches me as I undress and walk down to the water’s edge.

Each morning, I fly. But this morning I pause for a moment as well.

First, I pull the brightest crimson feather from my hair and lift it up. This is for Moorcroft, my flame touched hero, the only good man I’ve ever loved. “God be with you, Moorcroft,” I say and watch as the wind pulls it away.

Second, I pull a soft turquoise feather from behind my ear and hold it out. This is for MacKenzie, the cruellest and the kindest woman I ever knew. I still hold scars on my back from her. I wouldn’t be without them. “God protect you, MacKenzie,” I say and watch as the wind takes that too.

The ocean laps at my feet, and I stand there for a moment. I do this every year, on the same day. Today, for some reason, the sorrow catches me hard. Perhaps it’s because I realized yesterday that I couldn’t tell you how Moorcroft tasted any more.

Would I remember if I went back? Back to England, to the cold and the hurt and the passion and the madness? I’ve been gone a long time now. Do I miss it? The snake-shape Thames writhing through the bitter city? The ash smut from the autumn bonfires in Hertfordshire? The cocaine heat on the skin of the men who came to my flat? The gun-metal weight of Gehenna’s hands?

Well, maybe the last. I haven’t seen Gehenna in an awfully long time. I think he went respectable, although he sent me a poem a year ago in an envelope, and I sent him a paper heart, with every poem that reminded me of him written in tiny scarlet letters in twisting spirals which made the whole thing look pink.

Oh, and Dion also sent me a text featuring an awful lot of anatomical terms. I texted him back and told him to cut the unnecessary adjectives and just send me photos, if he was really that way inclined. I don’t pretend he and I had love. Actually, I’m not sure I even like him. The man is a cat. I hate cats.

But I miss him sometimes too.

So I stand for a moment and think. I could get on a plane. I have the money in my bank account. There are flights from Colombo to Dubai, Dubai to London. And I could be back in 24 hours. I’m sure Kieran would collect me from the airport. He always did.

But the sun is rising. Soon it will be in the sky. I need to fly, to join my flock above the ocean as we greet the dawn with raucous cries.

There is a batik, half finished, on a frame in my studio, and a hotel in Galle has hired me to paint a ceiling mural. I will bring the sky inside, so no one ever need feel trapped by stone and wood, and their guests will always be able to see the sky.

The bar we run in Tangalle has an open air concert in two weeks, and young people from Mumbai, from Colombo, from Europe and America will come to dance beneath the stars and I love the singer. She’s a local girl, but she’ll make the big time. I can feel it. I can feel the ambition and hunger inside her.

So I won’t go back today. I will just remember them instead.

But I do remember the poem from Gehenna and I know that tomorrow I’ll send him a tiny origami horse in a painted wooden box from Sri Lanka, with no name and address.

Maybe I’ll go back when the wind changes.
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