I Have Been Learning About People

I have been learning
About people. She
Flicks a flicker of cigarette
Into the golden air like
She doesn’t mind that she might
Set the sky alight.

I have been learning
That people are like rowboats
Pressed together at low tide
Rubbing salty flanks with each
Rolling wave, finding where
The joints are weakest,
Where they can let
The sea into the soul.

I have been learning
That people are not fragile
Like glass; they are fragile
Like language
And mean as many things
As there are synonyms
In the stars

And are as distant
And close
And require as much patience
And time
As the stars.

I have been learning
That I will never stop learning
About people
But perhaps I will understand people
Like the sea understands
The belly of the rowboat
And the night understands
The shouting stars
And the glass understands
The endless desire of gravity.

Here are my joints. Here:
I am salt and readiness,
Let the sea into my soul.

Raphael Kabo
 is a slam poet, quiet poet, and writer, whose heart, and some of his library, are split between Australia and the UK. Having finished university again this year, he is now re-learning how to read for pleasure.

Image: William Klos

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