6 words - return, core, bell, flesh, lid, burden Draft one - to be revised for register and voice consistency
We who travel have returned and put our heavy clothes away; wreathed in dusty sweat and foreign thoughts, with bulges underneath our hooded eyes, our hair is thinner, our chests wider, our lips curl round the southern tip of Argentina and our knotted backs betray the endless rhythms of the West Pacific. Every finch is now deformed, chasing thin New England clouds; and how small the bell tower when the stratocumulus mountains rushing to barren heights our eyes would not permit kept us shade between Isabella and Isla Contreras, between us and the other world. When our evening fell, the sky became black almost at once, and little crumbs of light announced their frightened presence on the vast and terrible lid that had closed upon the sea; night, unburdened by the hum of fluorescent lights and the nervous laughter of people we would never know; the Large Magellanic cloud drifting above our heads, our eyes drifting down the spiral arm, down beneath the black horizon, beneath the glimmer of the waves, beneath the silence of the deep, beneath; We who travel have returned, small and fearful of the long hours of desire penned in silent flesh that has never known touch or days quieter than these; and whatever distant dreams visit our kingdom we share as we do each other with a single breath between us. We who travel have returned the call.