I thought of the morning we leaned over the harbour walls
and looked down at our two squiggly faces on the rippling water
when I looked through the kitchen window at the yellow gorse
after I had spread the broken fragments of the earthenware jug
we bought somewhere in Connemara over the side board
so that I could bind it back together again with melted gold.
Then, as I filled the crucible with nuggets and plugged it in,
I saw you again, holding a yellow flower of gorse to my nose,
telling me to breathe-in the scent of coconut,
and, after doing so, I took the flower and rubbed it
between my thumb and forefinger – a velvet ear –
like your ear when on the verge of sleep, the dimmer switch
I’d use to send you off into the dark lands, safe
in your knowing that I was holding the lantern.
Then I picked up the first broken fragment – a gorse flower –
poured a thin strip of melted gold along its jagged edge,
joined it to the shard that held the flower’s stem
and pressed them both together – the gilded seam
shone like a golden road between flower and stem,
like the road we drove along when we left the harbour
with two high banks of bright yellow gorse on either side,
the dark road behind us sinking down into yellow fire.
I had dreamt of you the night before – that was why
I took the box down from the top of the cupboard
and spread out the fragments of the earthenware jug –
the jug we bought somewhere in Connemara –
that you flung against the wall before finally leaving
to drive on, out of the broken road, our road.
When I finished gilding the jug back together again
I held its remade body up to the sunlight – it was somehow
bound with a radiant understanding of how all things break.
So, if you are out there listening, if you can somehow tune in
through the radio silence of the intervening years, then know this:
instead of the cracked dark roads between broken shards,
our earthenware jug is now traversed by roads of gold,
and it looks – just as the brochure promised –
all the more beautiful for having been broken.