By Kathleen McLeod

There’s another universe I never met you in. There’s a universe we met in but I never return to. In time your name is a whisper carried over the mountain to the edge of my dream, eaten by a mouth of fog. I floated with the rising tides, I covered you in mud and silt, and the ocean ate the parts of the shore you once stood beside me on. I used the side of my fist and I smudged the sunlight out of the vast field we walked across, to finally get here and only fail each other. I smudged the sunlight out, until there were only stars to navigate the currents by. I wake from my dream and hear the ruru call and the waves in the still of the night, I hear the stars suddenly cracking apart like ice between my teeth. At the stations of my illusions, I pry out the nails one by one. I’m left with holes in my palms, through them I see the universe that never held you in its arms. There is peace there, from pieces missing. I enter the field, my palms blind with blood, the flax wiping the wounds clean.

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