Cracks

The Guardian’s Poem of the Week is Malika Booker’s Sin Visits Me. I was struck by the line funny how the cracks don’t seem to show. Carol Rumens refers to Auden, but I thought of Tori Amos who uses the very same words in her song China.

The cracks in Booker’s china cup are a pattern like the intricate weavings of words that form a spell; Amos’s speak of pretence, of denial, the kind of elaborate dance of two people trying to avoid the elephant in the room.

I remember listening to the song in my cold room in Eastbourne and feeling sad that neither Joel nor I would admit that our relationship was over. Of course, we then did break up and get back together again, several times. How intensely we hurt one another for the next two years and for no reason except that we were a couple of selfish dicks.

China

China all the way to New York
I can feel the distance getting close
You’re right next to me but I need an airplane
I can feel the distance as you breathe

Sometimes I think you want me to touch you
How can I when you build the great wall around you?
In your eyes I saw a future together
You just look away in the distance

China decorates our table
Funny how the cracks don’t seem to show
Pour the wine in dear you say we’ll take a holiday
But we never can agree on where to go

Sometimes I think you want me to touch you
But how can I when you build the great wall around you?
In your eyes I saw a future together
You just look away in the distance

China all the way to New York
Maybe you got lost in Mexico
As you’re right next to me, I think that you can hear me
Funny how the distance learns to grow

Sometimes I think you want me to touch you
How can I when you build the great wall around you?

I can feel the distance
I can feel the distance
I can feel the distance getting close

Songwriters
Tori Amos

Published by
SWORD & STONE PUBLISHING COMPANY

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