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April 2014, vol 10, no 1

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Els van Leeuwen

Cold Tea

I’m sitting up in bed with a cup of tea, looking out across the expanse of inner suburbs towards the city skyline. Those distant lights seem to shimmer, from here. I’ll miss this view when I move on. The way it opens out the space and changes with the light . . . the peppering of bats at dusk and birds in flight . . . but also, really, the way this view in particular maps out some of my life. Just to the right of the tall city buildings are the stomping grounds of my childhood. Those suburbs are out of my reach now, in more ways than one. There, at view’s end, the very familiarity of the buildings and the topography seem to mark out my displacement from my past. It’s unsettling. And yet I could almost believe that my mother is still out there somewhere, under one of those roofs, making herself a cup of tea.

winter stars
the eyes of a doll
stare past me