Through The Kitchen Window

Then the point comes when you know you can’t save
it, it will break and crumble and drown in the milk and

that last cookie, the murky outline of that inevitability
will forever remain the memory of the night it began to

end. You know I never liked this table, the stripes the
morning sun paints on the teak through the blinds, it is

better, out on the steps, less interrupted, less incomplete,
the odd crow wondering if it is welcome while you wave

a rolled newspaper over tea and biscuits, saving us from
the flies. Alone, wrapped in your old parka, I see a half-

moon dissolve in the blackened sky bowl, somewhere your
fingers hold the other piece, rain dripping off its uneven

edge. Silver swirls begin to fill the air as the light mixes,
changes, till that point when you know you can’t save it.

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Turbulence

Many thanks to the editor, Lorette C. Luzajic, for publishing my poem on The Ekphrastic Review. This is the first time I attempted a poem in this genre and am delighted it was accepted.

rainstorm-over-the-sea-1828.jpg!Large

(Art: Rainstorm Over the Sea, by John Constable)


But how can a storm be elegant, the contortion of
the visible expanse, incoherent elements clamouring

for release, morning pretending to be a newly birthed
night, night lit up like a funereal morning, didn’t we also

do it awkwardly, dumping darkness into the space
between us, letting the light grind into the ugliness, we

could sit naked on the parapet to see if the rain understands
when the earth says no or trace the immorality of the tempest

to a karmic reduction, a consequence even after it is removed
from its cause, but you stand there, smiling, the universe

reduced to a point on your finger, telling me why the
frenzied sky tries to shred itself so it can become

water, after the penitent water has patiently gathered
itself, day after day, to become the sky.

Still a Weed

there she was, reading a Murakami,
the light arranging itself carefully around her young
shoulders, iced tea sweating, waiting for no one,
expecting no one, no phone, no ring,
just a fragment of consciousness filling the now,

I let the years run through my hands like grain,
knowing I had seen too much, seen nothing,
and somehow they were both the same,
you see, a weed that survives the storm
is still a weed, maybe there were warnings, little wind chimes
that repeated requiems in every breeze, but I wasn’t listening,
not until I had heard too much, or heard nothing, and
both began to sound the same, all this time,
as if we have been walking too far, too much,
always reaching a fork, always taking different paths,
still walking together, walking apart,

I can see her, the draft from the air conditioner
pulling her hair, shifting slightly as she turns a page,
she reads slowly, I say to myself, trying to forget,
a book that survives that pace is not the same book,
as though I remember everything, remember
nothing and somehow here, alone, reading together,
reading apart, both feel exactly the same.

The Absurdity Of Light

That’s why I left, to follow a different caravan, we couldn’t
agree on the meaning of light, if everything is an illusion, you

asked, does the mind brighten only what it can stand, you
even stole from Eliot, humankind cannot bear very much

reality, you were the darkness that spoke a different
tongue, your idea of space was to confer with the moon

perched on a swaying treetop, for me, it was a steel cuboid
in which my thoughts paced alone, you heard the rain falling

on grass in the rhythm of a birthing dance, my deluge had
the hoarse cadence of concrete and tiles and rusted tin sheets,

the drum roll of death, I left because we couldn’t agree if
there was light, but you return like night in the window of a

hurtling train, constantly shifting, constantly still, no don’t
reach for my hand, being with you again means feeling the

weight of truth across my body, letting the scream break free,
shrouding the sun and tasting the dirt in my mouth, you question

Rumi, the morning has slipped out of the wounds, you say, now
let the dusk begin to heal again, I left because we couldn’t agree

we needed light, now your opaque shadow trickles over my
skin, tell me how will I learn to unsee the world again.

Half Past Dawn

,saturday morning, ashen, as if this monsoon has stapled itself
to the sky and will never leave, the deluge will wash away

everything, even sins, even sinners, the levitating fear that
woke me up before dawn is still rising, though I’m afraid the moon

will be much too cold to touch, the numbness with which I greet
the news is surrounded by a hollow moat that aches as a flaccid

sun wakes, how much more, a woman is killed, a child is raped,
hurricanes line up in the ocean like planes waiting to land, maybe

if the earth opens up like an orange, so we can fix it wedge by
wedge, stripping fibre, spitting out bitter seeds, biting into

summer, remember the juice running down our chins, we were
laughing, not a cloud in the blue, the sky schooling us to cover

our blemishes, it is raining again, someone is gathering clothes
hung out on the line, blue jeans, wet as fear, the saturated ground

is refusing rain that pours and pours, the sea, filled with storms,
is refusing water, so it waits, turning the colour of absent light,

a bleeding orange, unwedged, how much more, the hollows ache as
they drown the dead, but we are laughing, wiping juice on our collars,

pointing at the untainted sky, the moon, wrapped in cloud, is cold
as ice, summer burning my throat, saturday morning, half past dawn,

It is this Skin

It is this skin that doesn’t fit,
in fact, I can’t remember a time that it did.

it hung like a borrowed trenchcoat
the wrong colour in a summer storm
as I walked back to the beginning,
somehow, a single wordless thought
still clear on the other side of the rain,

or it was stretched too taut as we stood, tiptoe,
reaching far for a waning moon,
as if one more breath, one more poem
would rip it from the inside,
incoherent dreams spilling through the perforations,

or now, like an unstable bag on the checkout
counter, a little bit of everything inside it,
the necessary, the unfinished, the extravagant,
thing that I will never use, things I will regret,
things I pay for not understanding how

they add up in the end,
things I plan to come back for later, but never will,
things I simply forgot, things that never belonged,
it is this skin that doesn’t fit,
in fact, I can’t remember a time that it really did.