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Friday, April 24, 2020

24 April 2020 (22 years later)

April 24, 2020
                      For Pep, 22 years later

You tried to steal all of my holidays:
your birthday, just days before mine;
Bloomsday forever the anniversary
of your death. Somehow, until today,
Sant Jordi had escaped. Never a holiday – 
none of mine ever were – World Book Day
is now a thing, but then Sant Jordi was mine
by adoption – count the books in my house
dated April 23rd – and yours by birth: 
Barcelona being the only thing we had
in common when we succumbed to the thrill
of the first kiss, to the knowledge that we had
arrived at our shared doorstep, our first day
of blind choices, so glaringly obvious
in hindsight.

Those six books, because you made it
to a sixth, line the shelf by our bed, the bed
I haven’t slept in since February, since
travelling home to see our daughter fence
and being trapped by this pandemic. Trapped
at home, not home. In a house I never grew up in,
with a father I barely recognize, far from all
those books, from all those Sant Jordis
on my own, with my girls, with you, without you,
on my own.

Here at my home not home I have nothing to hand
which your hand touched, no inscription, no dates,
no declarations of love. This is my seventeenth
Sant Jordi without you, though you never took it
away. It has taken a pandemic. So now, instead
of Sant Jordi, instead of streets full of books and
young people hawking roses, instead of exhaustion
from kilometers shuffled among human currents
flowing past author signings, spending too much
money, weighted by books I will never finish, I am
quarantined, confined. the first Sant Jordi I have
missed. The first Sant Jordi I have spent
just missing you.

kc 23 April 2020
143

4 comments:

  1. Oh, that's beautiful Kymm. I wasn't aware of the Sant Jordi traditions of Barcelona, but now I do. And your description is so intimate and yet universal in this time of loss and separation. Much love xx

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Angi. Also missing Spools of Thread, which is by my bed in Barcelona... Much love to you as well xxx

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  2. Home... where the heart is... your heart is in Barcelona. This is beautiful Kymm.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you, Denise! My heart is in too many places at once! xx

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