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underground, overground

September 19, 2012

My local tube station has a poet, who writes up a daily poem on a white board. Today was Spike Milligan’s Eurolove. It made me think of Jaffna, the town I was born, the town I left because of the war, and it took me a few moments to figure out why. I’d never thought of my relationship with Jaffna as that of a doomed love affair but of course it is.
I’ve yearned for it for years. But now, even if we could be together, we have grown too different, been through two different lives, to ever really be compatible. There can be no happy reunion, only a wistful longing for what could have been.
I’m glad today was one of those bright autumn days I went to the river. London looked so beautiful. So like the right place to be right now, that my ache for Jaffna eased, at least a little.

I’m trying to upload a picture of the poem. But in case it’s hard to read, here it is again.

Eurolove, by Spike Milligan

I cannot and I will not. No.
I cannot love you less. Like the
flower to the butterfly, the corsage to
the dress. She turns my love to dust, my destination
empty, my beliefs scattered. Diaspora!
Who set this course – and why? Now my
wings beat – without purpose
yet they speed.

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