We drift in the wind, nomadic, elusive,
mercurial as scraps of tinsel, we hunt
human gatherings, crossing forests, seas
and cities, passing from home to home
we reap your memories, your secrets
that doze like fish in a torpid pool.
Small, almost invisible, you mistake
us for sunbeams, for insects floating
in the sultry night, for snow melting
on your child’s face or candle light
glinting in your lover’s eyes. We are
constant as the air you breathe, entering
your nasal passages, your mouth, seeping
into your skin and every private cavity.
We grub deep into the coils of grey
where you hide. Without you we are empty
as a church without the presence of God.
We can’t love. We can’t hate. We can’t sing.
So when you reach the top of the stairs
and forget why you are there, when you fail
to recall your mother’s voice or the taste
of beer, when you forget the meal you ate
ten minutes before and your own name,
please don’t mind too much.
2 thoughts on “The Borrowers”
Another amazing piece, Nikita, made more powerful by directly addressing the reader. It certainly feels like some insidious alien entity, and the artwork also wonderfully eerie. I have been lost in empty shopping malls, car parks, buildings, and cities after dark. I fear that one day your borrowers will make sure I am lost forever.
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Thanks Steve, glad you enjoyed this piece. I used to do art therapy with Alzheimer’s patients and I think losing one’s sense of self is the worst horror. Do you know Elizabeth Bishop’s poem The Art of Losing? It’s one of my favourites.