Stories On The Theme Of ‘Movement’ | The Bridge of Willows / Kiss The Wind by Ash Warren

Two lovers entwine as the sea meets the shore in this dual perspective prose poem by Ash Warren



Stories On The Theme Of ‘Movement’

By the Bridge of Willows/ Kiss the Wind

By Ash Warren

For the Woolf’s Peak Award

By the Bridge of Willows

It’s all come down to this. The clock on the wall and the second hand lurching forward one last time.

Simple. You’re gone.

So it’s strange how this morning I can hardly touch you. That our eyes avoid each other and seek the inanimate, the hard, unknowing things.

And strange the world can have this clean, white morning air. Vivid, each corner with its straight line, each shadow in such sharp relief and the light, clear and solid.

And our footsteps announcing themselves like an advancing army in the little winding alleys leading to the Bridge of Willows.

And as we walk you tell me that in China ‘willow’ means ‘stay’, and they always give the departing a sprig before they leave.

I can’t reply to you though. The words are ashes on my tongue and will not be uttered. And up above the curving roofs the cold sky is filled with fleeing clouds, driven like animals by the relentless wind.

Then with a sickening suddenness we are there. The Bridge. This elegant, lurking monster we’ve been ignoring, like an old, sick dog too dangerous to go near. But here we are, before it.

Now everything happens quickly.

I snap off a piece of willow and press it to your hand.

You turn.

And take a step.

I can’t remember walking home. I open the door and there’s the bed, the rumpled sheets, and your quiet scent. On the pillow an open book of poems, a single page fluttering like a white sail.

It’s still warm, from your hand.

Kiss the Wind

Dawn. The long jet sea with a single sail, slowly advancing.

Alone on the sand, a seabird’s cries circle me and the waves are like a clap of thunder. I close my eyes and kiss the wind, this wind that draws you closer. I smell it, I wrap it around me like a shawl. It bears your scent, blown from far away. It has mingled in your long hair, and now it touches mine.

It’s your caress, this wind.

The sail is larger now, white like the page of a book. And this moment I have long imagined, tastes of salt and blood. The sharp needle turns and points both ways at once, and tells of destiny for East and West. Of things that voyage, yet also are returning.

Now I see I’ve lived like the end point of a breath, neither coming nor going. Like the heart of the wave, before it rises, after it falls.

You were coming back, from that moment when I heard the door click shut and your footsteps fade upon the step.

Always we come home.