from
Exile
Mark Huband


In repetition

It is not between,
nor final
nor destination.
Nor is it the point of departure.
It is the distance lying at our feet,
a distance wrenched from land and sky
by the screech of gulls.

To go. Not to go. It is all

that lies beyond. So, it is time, though only as a future.
It has no past.
It is sunset. So, it is what tomorrow might be.

And we watch to see what might pass along its edge.

We watch, and a ship — real or imagined — drags out our breath.

The ship is our passing into future.
We are not aboard. That is the point.
We are not aboard the ship we see
passing into tomorrow
over the horizon
that is the perfect symbol
of all that we are not.

But it is not between
nor final
nor destination
nor point of departure,
for tomorrow it will be there again,
unreached
untouchable,
forever the distance

between what we are and what we might have been.