Amherst, Summer 1863
Let’s have no more “I will pick no rose, lest it fade or prick me”. No matter how often you write this it smacks of insincerity. Especially when you also write of night skies that look like “Jerusalem! … mountains that touch[ed] the sky, and brooks that sang like bobolinks.” You add “I will give them to you, for they are mine, and “all things are mine.”” This sounds peculiarly American to me, not only because I first heard it in the voice of Jack Kerouac; “everything belongs to me because I’m poor.” His is ultimate truth, routinely misunderstood, though not by you. I was running last night after a long day ended with evocative Dhokla. Out in the middle of London under a bright sky, upon the Millennium Bridge as bells chimed the quarter hour before midnight. While crossing I realised that running here is a boast of residence. The great river, peculiarly low in tide, echoed my possession. I’ve taken to running on the road itself, marking it as mine. Opening out strides, I left behind a day brimming with love in a faster time than ever. I called out to friendly foxes and allow the porcelain tulips another night of potency. Poor as I may be, everything belongs to me on the “unhoused” bridge.