A distant planet I once travelled to

When I came back I had
no language to tell of what I’d seen;
no one knew except a man who stood
arms outstretched

near my house, breathing. This
breathing man, unkempt,
bearded, dressed in the same clothes
every day, never spoke

of what he recognised in me, my
camouflage suit and tie,
secret planet orbiting above my head.
Many sadnesses live and die alone,

ruptures beneath the skin
like worlds you alone have seen
go unreported. Sometimes I sit
remembering the cliffs, but

it was many years ago. Others
have travelled there, I know,
seduced by siren beauty,
left with the mute ache

of having been.

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