The way it starts. With an ending. Just before our love got lost. We have all been here: the wit of welcome. But the voice, shattered, early morning. A rasp. Nothing left to give. (The whole point.) Then Canada. O Canada. A moment of pure release, luxuriating in the extended vowels – hymn to landscape, a horizon I do not know but now image because of this voice. Just a nudge on the gas, nothing more, exquisite. In my blood like holy wine, sung with exhaustion, not celebration.

The pressure on the word lonely. This has been felt. Love is touching souls? An angel begins to climb the stairs, looking forward to what might be up there. You’re in my blood, now with a bit more purpose. I still don’t believe she’d still be on her feet. She’s saying it to be truthful to the idea (what you do in a cover: stick to the script) of faithfulness, of hanging in there, of showing up.

I met a woman. She knew your deeds. Deeds. An entire history of untold stories and unmentionable betrayals. Deeds. What we do to each other. When we want to, when we don’t. When we’re looking, when the other is looking the other way. Intentional? There are no accidents. She knows what she’s doing. She knew your deeds. And now we do, too.

Go with it and stay with it. Joni sings him. The difference is? The difference! kd. The twist. The gauntlet thrown down. Have you any idea what you are letting yourself in for, this thing, this horse ride rollercoaster lifeboat rising tide called love. Have you? Any idea whatsoever?

Be prepared to bleed. A friend said that to me once. Her kitchen, not mine. Papers between us. Sunlight. The last time I saw her, thin, knowing she had months. Her cancer and mine. Be prepared to bleed. She finished the quote for me. She knew everything, had read and listened to it all.

You’re in my blood like holy wine. This third time holy is extended, a howl, possibilities of God, sex, rawness and The End collapsing into each other. Wine no longer whines but is triumphant. An explosion. In that kitchen I said: This is my chemo-hymn. You’re so bitter, baby, and so sweet. The insertion of baby, this last time round. She loved that, taking something out of context and twisting it, making it into something else entirely which has nothing to do with anything except itself, a universe only you walk in, private and unsullied. Desire. Release. Healing. Collapse.

I could not listen to it for months.

For months it had been there and now I could not bear it. It came on in a car park once. I had to call my counsellor. Tears in Aisle 7, with the dishwasher tablets, for no reason, out of nowhere.

I could drink. The voice cracking on I.

The cracked I. Cracked and collapsed. Singing.