On a bridge in Regensburg

by Neil McCarthy

To hear my name, called out across the Roman stones on a

bridge in Regensburg through the languid March drizzle,

was to breathe again as my head burst through the water.


Two lovers in the corner of the Black Bean cafe exchanged

mocha tongues and disregarded censorious onlookers;

me with an envious pang of I've-worn-that-t-shirt as I passed.


I have for too long been hitchhiking in the opposite direction

to which the world is going, malingering through the medium

of other people's beds, but more often their couches.


This incessant journeying, these photographs that document

the ages of my illusory face, this cracked black pepper light

on my skin at night is but a stopgap grace.


On a bridge in Regensburg, my head bobbed up when beckoned

and, for a second, I was home again; a mother's call from the

kitchen door to a boy and his dogs just two fields away.