A reliable shard from the security light trips around the muddy, salted grasses to the side of my friend’s place. There’s a rat on the sea wall watching, raising its nose in the darkness towards me as I lean into the shadows. A totem of resilience against the outgoing tide.
I step forward, apprehensive at pulling out the now, sullied sail that lies beneath the raised floor of my friend’s apartment. The Littl’st Bird lies in pieces, forgotten, apart, untended as the body I inhabit.
I’m sailing out on her, over the green-blue waters of the protean lagoon. She is still the frontage of my dreams and self-worth. She calls out to me, like a dog left tethered in an alleyway next to Battersea Park. I can see the rain stains upon her hull. Back under the security light I look out to where she once sailed. Her broken boom, her rusted tiller, melancholic evidence of the passing year.
I’m trying to see through the night, not daring to speak, afraid that she is now less than the truth she once represented, less than her worth as the object of my desire. To give away a love for no return will be failure.
I close my eyes and turn towards the rat; an absolute lack of humility challenging my noctural presence. Its existence disproving physics, I need to believe in its right as a bystander.
There are once again, no postulations for ceremony and as you come back under the light from your inspection of The Littl’st Bird, I perceive illumination. Words are practical, without the flourish of poetry. I need to feel acquiesence. I desire little more of you at this point. Thick like treacle the nod comes to me carrying The Littl’st Bird in your head.
Text: © The Littl’st Bird, by J. L. Nash, 2009
Image: © Predrag Pajdic, Senegal, May 2008
Note: The Littl’st Bird was the name of a small boat by J. L. Nash while living in Pacific. Today she lives and works in Australia.