Cumulus

He only wanted

to brush a hand against it, the

heavy lightness of a cloud,

burn its image into the soul,

and then let it float by.

Let his mind be filled

with the residual impossible dreams

of contact with the

sky.

The City

I took my bags with me, fearing rats,

and all those pests that moving house entails.

 

My welcome from her came with crocodiles

waiting for traffic lights to turn green

with me. Standing there, my chest was burning

from smoke, in her breath still snaking to death

in heaven– where the lockers are, and keys

to shroud my heart from an empty sky.

 

She sorted my luggage into rooms:

lungs in the lavatory, blood in pools.

A hanging herb garden hosted my new

brain. And I can guess that I felt joy.

Halfway through she confessed to me her

inexperience in changing lives, and such.

 

I took her grey hand in mine, whispered close:

We all are only good at hiding.

Self-reflection

I held you up, and above my bathroom

sink. You were canting off-balance, off-model

in your reflection, out of memory.

Sometimes mirrors tell the truth.

 

I remember roads were hopelessly wound

in tangles, across your face. The craggy

carcasses of Pangea in your eyes.

You tried to be a compass.

 

My compass, specifically, was the

only possession I hid from your hands,

sticky hands too narrow and cruel for

me. You should listen to mirrors.

 

Land

Land is

ideals: ideas, icons and idiocy

principles and crime, death and history

is a pink sunset remembered on the deathbed,

a faceless sea coloured blue by the heart

and reflection. Land,

it simply is.

Dreams

I was chased! — the world was melting

a meteor shower of colours

shot off behind me.

 

The thing about dreams is

they never let you go.

 

And all the familiar topography of faces,

the map of girlhood, dug out again from some distant drawer–

And all the voices I could remember

came together, drove me down that corridor–

Would not let me go! The thing about dreams! — They never let you

 

reach the end.

 

 

Ode to Mirages

I saw an image playing in the dirt,

reflected on the spray of pebbling pores

there! – where shadows dance and flirt

I saw it waver: was it truly yours?

This doubt within me did not dull its charm,

for all this nearness brought too much to bear

its losing. Glass would quail to see its shine

inside my mind, that feared its future harm.

The perfect moment, clearing us of care,

a part of you, confirming parts of mine.

 

Autobiographical

At specific times she sits and unwraps

banana leaves of old, sometimes pungent

birthdays, ceremonies, births and burials

that otherwise seep out through the gaps and

bother her at work.

On one sweet morning many years ago

she wrapped the green of a foreign country,

now scented irreparably by that

lemony tinge of her school field and her

balcony garden.

After a Lilliputian time frame all

marinate completely in the birthplace-

begotten soup she presently mixes

in a pot, with dumplings. They become the

things she gets used to.