Dusty bougainvillea — the pink of rotting beetroot peel —
necks craned over the fence, hibiscus heads nodding,
somehow white petals staying white, an advertisement for
peace or surrender, even though war is in perennial bloom.
From skin to earth to sky, the premise for battle is made
holy. We have perfected want so it resurrects itself out of
reason. Reason that keeps us safe. Reason that makes gods
make us make gods. In a scratched pan, over an open fire, we
fry fish, fresh from the lake, poisonous, perhaps, from
effluents and humans, but we have scrubbed it with so
much turmeric, countered the bitterness of chemicals with
garlic and spices, this scrap of makeshift Eden, its back against
this city – we act like the air is fresh here, act like the stars
are visible, act like it’s fine, us being here, us drinking wine, us
being where we cannot see the bodies, us eating dead fish,
their eyes white, staying white, the colour of burnt fear.