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I'm thinking about you. What else can I say?The palm trees on the reverseare a delusion; so is the pink sand.What we have are the usualfractured Coke bottles and the smellof backed-up drains, too sweet,like a mango on the vergeof rot, which we have also.The air clear sweat, mosquitoes& their tracks; birds, blue & elusive.

Time comes in waves here, a sickness, oneday after the other rolling on;I move up, it's calledawake, then down into the uneasynights but neverforward. The roosters crowfor hours before dawn, and a proddedchild howls & howlson the pocked road to school.In the hold with the baggagethere are two prisoners,their heads shaved by bayonets, & ten cratesof queasy chicks. Each springthere's a race of cripples, from the storeto the church. This is the sort of junkI carry with me; and a clippingabout democracy from the local paper.

Outside the windowthey're building the damn hotel,nail by nail, someone'scrumbling dream. A universe that includes youcan't be all bad, butdoes it? At this distanceyou're a mirage, a glossy imagefixed in the postureof the last time I saw you.Turn you over, there's the placefor the address. Wish you werehere. Love comesin waves like the ocean, a sickness which goes on& on, a hollow cavein the head, filling and pounding, a kicked ear.

© Margaret Atwood