by Jessie Taussig

after ‘Missing’ by Moniza Alvi

When I disappeared,
It was pale, clean, grey,
Like the first morning of January.
Waking up to a new year with no name
And no me and no you.
Tried on a dozen lives, and realised none of them fit.
Not orphan, child, wife, ex-wife,
Nor astronaut.
Tried to squeeze between the aisles of the supermarket
And the pages of the book
And the creases in the map
But you kept finding me.

So I stepped across the border.
Fell into the stormland, like a scarlet landslide,
And felt the blood beat a little differently.
Carved my steps a new way,
So I rolled,
Confident and boastful:
Kept the bow and arrow on me
Because I can,
And not because
You’ll ever be around for me to use them.