I will go to earth in the long herbaceous border
with my back against a wall of warm red brick,
the all there is of me scarce as grams of breath.
After which I will stay there behind floral drifts
of colour, learning how to unlearn the language
I have spoken, until all speech has been deleted
and words are broken into single letters littered
across the ground like dead leaves, fallen petals.
I will be lost in the low hum of attendant insects,
mesmeric bees and hoverflies I can’t distinguish
from the voice of the air moving through stems.
My last decipherable impression, the earth rising
to meet me, as if asking “are you ready to leave?”
And I will be, buried in an incoherent yes, sibilant
and indistinguishable from the breeze or insects,
the background music of weather and fecundity,
as I become the compost of my vague ambitions,
– half-thought-through ideas, unreliable memories.
My indelicate odours of decay, lost in perfumes
of a new slow-ripening summer, the only residue
of me. Except a patch of darker earth like a stain
remaining of what I never understood, questions
I didn’t ask, about the perfection of having lived.