opening night

sometime between -
when a careless arm might still find
coolness in a sheet -

she fancies phantoms -

but opening an eye
- to the width of half a lash -
nothing could be seen
- down rolls lid upon exhale

for her athletic feet
- the chemist - whom she had known
since still a girl in hoops -
made a preparation of lavender
which always smelt her bed distinct
in perfumed combination with painted po beneath -
and heavy goose-down dream-caught sweats
- the counter-pain - the wool blanket -
the spreading electric warmth below
- no tighter world was more enclosed

always answers to each question posed
- on kings and queens and rationed sweets
falling bombs and motor cars
seaside treats and relatives who fell down holes
- but never talk of blackened skin
that ended nights at grand-mamas

all men stayed at broach-pin length
now - perhaps it was a shoe
she thought - again it came -
again again - mixed into unconscious thoughts
of shopping lists and garden walks
- perhaps it was a shoe - she thought -
and dropped blind hand to fumble round

she does not wake
nor tumble round
but turns with all neatness
of one used to single plank of bed
- and still she senses snoring
though - pricked and pricked
and bled well out
for daring to return alone -

dessicated skin of dust
damp carpet molded out to fust
charmed words so oft repeated
tapped and bottled
- made of rooms where memory lay

while bending to catch a scent of rose
she feels a hand upon her waist
- now flat-backed - spread wide apart
at the ghostly ceiling staring -
- sapped of strength - no hand lays upon
for all is kept at broach-pin length

'grand-mama' she whispers -
in her mind and hears -
returned - carousel reply - as
up and down the children ride
and wave to her beyond the fence

◄ for Ashraf Fayadh

refuges ►


No comments posted yet.

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message