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Helen Sword  

All Together Now: A Digital Bridge for Auckland and Sydney             

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Îles Flottantes

 
here where white clouds gather on our plate  
and words rise up like songbirds from our lips
I meet you after dark upon this bridge
where every prophet sees a different light
and every martyr bears a different cross
and every dreamer sleepwalks to an island

more beautiful than any other island
and rounder-rimmed than any moonlit plate
and brighter even than the tiny cross
I press against the parting of your lips
as though your tongue could somehow taste its light
and fashion from its lines a slender bridge

more beautiful than any other bridge
spanning the fiery air around our island
as birds descend like angels in the light
to trace their wingtips round the silver plate
that holds the food you ferry to my lips
your fine-tuned fork humming like a cross

more beautiful than any other cross
marking the spot where your five fingers bridge
the distance from my shoulder to my lips
and measure the circumference of my island
this hanging garden where we stay up late
and wait to see the rising of a light

more beautiful than any other light
winging over the river like a cross
mirrored in the slowly spinning plate
you tossed into the sky from this drab ridge
to hover high above your desert island
and fall into the magic spell of lips

more beautiful than any other lips
savouring creamy custard far too light              
to bear the weight of any floating island
ringed with Os and sealed with a X                   
slowly sinking like an unmoored bridge
between the curves of two tectonic plates

until that island slips beyond our lips
and smashes like a plate against the light
that spills across an underwater bridge

 

 

 

©Helen Sword