Brain Cloud

For Ginny


Some days you wake up underwater

all your plans drenched

the mirror stays foggy long after the shower is turned off


Last week I watched a movie from 1990

where Tom Hanks got diagnosed with a ‘brain cloud’

“I knew it,” he says, shaking his head, surging up from the chair


He quit his job, dated multiple women, spent all his money

and decided to sacrifice himself in a volcano

The story gets a little hazy at this point


At the edge of the crater, he finds out he never had a cloud

but it had already changed his life

In the end he floats off happily on some suitcases he’d bought earlier because they were very expensive and waterproof


Look, I’m not saying it’s a good movie,

or even a good metaphor

But I’ve thought about buying some suitcases more than once


Yesterday I hiked up the hill that marks the Centre of New Zealand

sheltered by bush until the last hundred metres, rain resting in my hair

at the last corner I broke above the fog


and saw the straight lines of the city below

and the flat bright ocean beyond

stretching out in welcome.

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