You’re Norway in November as you skate
on the kitchen floor while the dishwasher
licks the plates with suds. I can’t read the symbols
you’ve scrawled on your arm but want to practice
the language of cracking delph on sideboards
and sit with you afterwards to admire the blue and white
mosaics beneath our feet. I will track down the potter
that shaped these wares and into his soft clays slip
words of countenance. But I must watch this Svalbard
seed, preserved by you, flower in the pit
of every winter. How it blooms through the fjords
you’ve carved with an old breadknife.
And you’re Spain in May, paddling in a broth
of star anise and lavender.
Your alphabet turns chemical like the ant’s; you use
pheromones for words to spell out ‘home’
in the sea’s broken crockery. You walk across plazas in Cadiz,
shredding petals of aulaga, and steal oranges
from courtyards in Seville. You make marmalade
with crescents of peel to spread on our morning toast.
It will be better, you promise, than the jar of Chivers
that sits in our press at home.
And in October, when I return with a plastic bag full
of too-late blackberries and half-dead ants—
you will flatten their crowns
with panes of gelatine, to freeze the sour of the season.