It’s as if I’ve been here before,
sitting on this chair beneath
your painting of red peppers.
It’s as if I’m meeting again
people I knew in some other life –
as if you could ask me to pass
a particular plate or fork
and, without so much as a thought,
I’d reach for the drawer
where it’s always been kept.
It’s one way to explain
this atmosphere, this ease –
and, of course, we’ve spoken
via email, and I’ve seen on Skype
your painting in this kitchen
where friends, not guests, are entertained.
It’s only as you make to leave,
to cycle across the city,
it’s as if I’m doing a disservice.
There was no other life,
It’s as if I’ve forgotten the word
in my own language – although,
as we’re saying our goodbyes,
I’m not so sure it ever had one.