The Closest We’ve Been
We were, the two of us, parked on a rock each, looking
out at Galway Bay on a mild August night.
Drunk and merry, drunk and pensive,
but in those few hours happy. Strolled along,
or staggered, after winning a score on the slots
(or was it fifty?) and our girlfriends were left behind
to talk about us.
It was his way when he’d had a few –
“forget about them,” he’d say, and he’d wrap his arm
around my shoulder and we were brothers.
We sat there looking out at the lights passing
slowly, slowly along the horizon. The two of
us reminiscing like we were old men.
School was a recent memory.
Before we knew it the sea had surrounded us,
and we were islands, stranded together
but content and conversational, still.
We’d accepted our fate — now we were separate
from their land, kings of our own.
No laws here, just sedentary positions
and good feeling.
No religion or creed, no drugs, no speed.
Here there were no politics, and no need
for foreign embassies. No protests,
no austerity. We governed with grace, our land
in awe of the sea. “I wonder where they are,”
I said. “Who cares?” was his response.
And truly, who did?
But it wasn’t long before they beckoned us home,
like mothers spoiling the fun when children
are given the key to the day.
And so we tried to tackle our Everest, the blood
still thinned, and soon to be adorning our shins:
the jagged rocks didn’t take kindly to the abandoning
of our land.
Now I look down and see these memories on my skin,
and wonder where the shoes I borrowed from my
brother washed up. These scars are stories —
We shared beds and bathtubs, parents and plates,
days and nights. And so it was Fate who determined
that it wasn’t only shoes that drifted
out to sea.