Passport Song

Gabriel Malikian


For Matthew Frere-Smith


Boarding Greathead, London-bound

with Percival, from Cape Town,

for Matthew in Walsham; Wormley


tonight for an unveiling. We’ll be inbound

by Light Railway after docking

in Folkestone, Dover to chalk our pockets, then


Dungeness for Jarmen’s garden, cold tea

and windburn– all justified by the Maltese

fisherman’s kipper June savours.


By Oakwood you phone us with no news but

Enfield, The Hop Poles. You were a success,

to be installed in Earlham; the newspaper


lately published a grainy still of your Standing Woman

surrounded by the council estate bulldozed,

enfensed: yours was all that stood.


In the air I watch contrails match your lattices:

Maquette, Tenso, Cage. Destinations invisibly

riveted in rigid suspension, equilibrated.


I lap you with travel (next week is Willemstad and

Dutch Antilleans), but my flight plans match

Brownian motion before your calculable works.


Hearing our rubber stick with every landing, I begin

to understand more of your stabile mobiles, of

the longevity of balancing motion.


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