Time Machine

You know that time machine
We didn’t build
Under the roofbeams all that long summer
When I was fifteen
And you were twelve?

(It was a ruse. I loved you all the time,
But mislaid words that reach
In shoals of cleverness
The attic walls
That rose between us, tempering the truth.)

I’ve got it fixed up now,
It looks like a broomstick with lights.
(I still can’t make plain words sit still.)
I use it to go visiting
And hug my friends unexpectedly.

(For Andrew Plotkin.) 4th June 1998, Swansea.