Our shared geometry.
Every face is family, I can see it under your skin. Our shared geometry, ears and nose, chin and cheek, skin mirrors, the keys to comfort. I am you and you are me. Even the new ones are tribe. The girl Hughes, married to that fellow Scullion, or is it Scullen - another graveyard slip. That one's got some land near the swans, there's a big house going up if the money comes through. In other kitchens, an ivy of stories, looping, tangling and teasing me closer, filling every corner, flowering and joining lives, twine binding. The plip plop of spuds, the screech and tinkle of a dainty drinks trolley, long pours and a gentle smile from the royalty of Bellaghy. The only urgency a kettle. The fire spitting red life and history in the corner, illuminating, pulling in and pushing away, tides of heat and memory, amber glow and fade, everyone's silhouette is sepia in front of a fire.
Unvarnished simplicity and a plain spoken town of quiet black streets. The cold is never far, a room away, or a wall. The heat, a soft, silent trickle on the wall. Empty cold to touch hot in minutes. Outside, tanks and chimneys, sheds and hedges. All trim and berry-speckled. No background hiss and hum here, no far drone of a thousand tyres over ribbed asphalt. Just wind and thorn, interplaying a soundtrack. Then this one spot, hedge-edge, up at the kill, where two stood once, hands under coats, "where we came to smoke and read books".
There's a space here to breathe. An echo of we know what comes. The sky matters less than the land, flower less than seed, mind less than muscle. Roots shorn after sorting. Through streaky wet windows, I'm watching green smear into stone, a brilliant sky turning basalt into jewellery, past row houses planted stout and tall together, past spatters of whitewash blossoming like spores on sidewalk. A diesel belch of home, and hello Magherafelt, hello Castledawson, hello Ballyscullion, you far wonder. Take me home, settle me, refill me.