At the end of that road, a sanctuary for endangered birds. One room kept in darkness, housing unmooned hunters. Ghosts-in-waiting, painting flight on our pinpricked arms. Dust, drifting.
At the end of that road, a carillion, blank sockets dangling rotted ropes, the only sound left swelling there the struck pewter bell of the sea. We stole back hours, drowned all doubt, sang loud with the thump of the tyres. Kited our hearts.
At the end of that road was another road, narrowing twists that lead to a hill track that wisped to a trail of iron sand trickled from a loose fist and spilled to the south wind. Your hair her own creature, waving cursive. Long clouds signed you like a letter.
And that one road lead to the airport, a circle for which we were not prepared, even knowing time moves in her way like a human child, arms out, spinning to test the balance. Giddy on takeoff, and the sun rose with no warning
that at the end of the road, every wheel finds friction to turn its imprint. That all our travelling is prayer, that I’d find you left in the narrows and as birded dark, pocketing the wind and named by nimbus and singing out the window along the coast: save me, save me, save me,
that all those roads up ahead, the sick hairpin we couldn’t see, the gridlock just waiting to seize, they all lead here. To your call from the wreckage of a crushed country, all exits missed, and needing my voice from the future. To tell you the map stays marked, your pin
left a hole, and next time – Te Rerenga Wairua* – we’ll be travelling light, so there’ll be time for that road that goes all the way north. I tell you we’ll drive just as fast as we can, as fast as we can away from the cliffs.
*A place at the northernmost tip of Aotearoa. Its name means the leaping-off place of spirits.
Ankh Spice is a sea-obsessed, queer-identified poet from Aotearoa. His work has been widely published internationally, in print and online, and has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. You'll find him and a lot of sea photography on Twitter @SeaGoatScreams or on Facebook @AnkhSpiceSeaGoatScreamsPoetry.