Which before you can comprehend it
Resolves into a commonplace: all is vanity,
Say, or suffering . . .
Unhappy, the realization
That the truth has outmanoeuvred
Like a party that spilled into
The street while you were in the kitchen
Refreshing the punch,
Making you surplus
To requirements, but not freeing you
We had been in the city a week and still hadn’t seen the bridge—it was never where we thought it would be. So when, out walking one day, we saw a man at the end of a pier, hunched over the guardrail and craning his neck to see something blocked from our view by a cliff, we decided to join him. It was only when we had almost reached him that we saw there was a small woman slotted between the man and the guardrail, and it was over her body that he was hunched. And he wasn’t craning his neck, but resting the side of his face on the top of her head.
The pier was too narrow for us to stand side by side, so after some shuffling we found ourselves imitating the couple’s embrace. But because I am not so small, someone approaching from behind would have had no trouble seeing me and so would not have thought my companion was looking at a bridge that still wasn’t there.
Bree Huntley is a writer living in Auckland. She has been published in Landfall and Minarets.