Time Difference

Claudia Daventry

Highland Funeral, Michael Russell
I liked meeting you, she says. I really liked meeting you.

From where I’m sitting, I picture her on her balcony

overlooking her city of grids and grey verticals.

Maybe she’s still in her travelling-coat. Maybe her keys

are thrown on a glass table by a remote and an ashtray,

and her belt still knotted at the back, the way it was

when she walked through security without turning, my kiss

an obol in her mouth. As her words cut through space, I hear

a distant rush hour thrum beneath an open window.

In my other ear, but five hours earlier, a blackbird

is fluting out his presence from a dark twist of branches.

Otherwise, the garden’s silent, scented, oblivious

to the black pencil-strokes of borders, the miles

swallowed by planes; the mad incompatibility of clocks.