Is it these walls? this lounge,
the green hollyhock curtains
that have travelled with me
from city to city, to house,
to flat, the throw over my couch
that has a burn hole still
from when I used to smoke,
pictures of family on my desk.
Is it this view? a particular smell
of the ocean as I breast the mountain
and catch sight of the harbour, the chill
around my ankles when the sea mists
over the city, being blown about
by a south-easter, finding north
because I know the lie of the land,
the way the mountain slopes.
Is it a yearning? like a monarch
butterfly that flies north
in early spring and south
in winter, guided by the sun,
surviving on milkweed nectar,
heart fluttering blood to bathe
internal organs, to keep warm,
to prolong life, to live.