When I was young in our garden
Stood my grandmother’s fig tree
Around the corner from where I was first kissed.
With every summer I was
Promised the taste of new fruit.
Whenever her hands were tasked with cleaning
The bathroom floor, the dishes in
The sink, picked up the
Pillows that harboured memories
Of the day my father left,
Of my mother crying on the kitchen floor,
The crowds that made me pull out
And eat my own hair.
I taste the sweetness of the tree and become
Bloated with memories
I thought I had
I see the people in the streets.
I recognise my absence between their teeth.
I notice the vacancy, the desperation for,
The kilometres their hearts are from home.
Everyone in my hometown wears their loneliness
Better than their skin.
I wonder if they know who their sadness belongs to.