but really they’ve become
sleeping late under a pile of cats days
letting my washed hair dry in the sun days
lunchtime yoga class followed by lunch days
reading poetry in a café, scribbling notes in my journal days
slow stride along the bike path back to the space
where maidenhair ferns its way down one wall
devil’s ivy curls its lips like leaves to the light
thick arms of monstera press against the corner window
obscuring a laundry line of last week’s life
the heartbeat rhythm of solitude, solace, self-solicitude days.
That summer I was reading A brief history of seven killings, a weighty hardback issued from the library. Too heavy to lug out to parks or café courtyards, it anchored me into my new home. I lounged on the daybed and when people asked aloud what I’d been doing, the book’s title drew out my kiwi accent almost as thick as the tome itself. A reminder of the recency of my migration.
An odd choice of book, perhaps, but held in place by it I felt the sun pass through the house and, when I needed a break from the intensity, I walked to the supermarket in my new neighbourhood; each day a little taller, feeling more present. Roses bent their heads over picket fences and I learnt to recognise those worth stopping to breathe with. I took in the street names, smiled at locals, became one.