Purple Stranger

It was the way day turned to night, like the flicking
of a switch, shadows scrambling to unpin themselves

from the snow, the moon hastily draping a cloud over
her naked bosom, stars still, not ready to twinkle, the

glare of not knowing transforming into dark realization
in an instant, as if something had been revealed, as if

something had been hidden, forever. Except today, when
an odd twilight slipped into the silence, like a stranger in

a purple coat walking slowly over the slopes, holding the
eye, stretching distance, stark against the emptiness,

carrying not to the inky gloom that was to come, but the
light that could brighten a heart for just a little longer.

 

First published on Visual Verse (Vol 05, Chapter 04)
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The Person Watching

The ocean was crying, hoarse whimpers on her salt crusted
lips, throbbing like a wounded animal, life seeping out from

her and drenching the night. I tried to hold her, tried to turn
her face towards me, push back her hair, listen to her pain.

No, you smiled, sadness is not in her words or voice, sadness
is in the eyes. In the eyes of the person watching. I wonder if I

knew then that it would be over so soon, that goodbye would
be so silent that it had no words, no voice, that I could walk

away as if each step wasn’t time or distance, that all that
would be left was sadness. In the eyes of the person watching.

The Ocean Never Lets Go

He walked slowly, for a god, even a minor god, but maybe he was
savouring the lights of Marine drive, strung low across the pelvis

of this throbbing city, rivalling the stars, the sea a fluid square of
denial between shimmering possibilities on an infinite graph. Is

there a word, I asked him, for when we run away from ourselves,
when everything has been left behind and yet everything is so far

ahead that it can never be reached. He watched the waves cresting
silver on the rocks. Look, he said, how the light mixes in the water,

how one wave leaves it behind for another, the ocean never lets go.
He was scampering down the rocks to scoop up the fallen light, the

night creeping up behind me, wrapping its arms around my waist,
everything is a new moon, in the sky, in the water, inside a word.

 

More poems in the “monologues with a minor god” series here.

Remembering

I watch the sky swell, her arched grey belly birthing
rain without a womb, I too, I whisper to her, I too am

a mother, my grief is born at dusk each day from the
seed of emptiness, the darkness like a wet nurse, suckles

it at her breast, see how whatever is left of the moon
turns away, remembering. I think of your fingers wrapped

around a wish, around a promise, around a cry, love streaked
purple from the pressure of your grasp, how did it slip

away then, a lie, a life, a song? I walk barefoot to another
dawn, in my hand the glass slipper the night left behind.

Two Moons

Maybe it was the night we saw two moons
in the sky. Was it the sky holding a mirror to

itself, was it the sea surging back to where it
all began, was it the distance between us that

split the horizon in two? I have sun seeds in
my pocket to grow new light, to undraw the

silhouettes on either side of the silence, to dot
infinity with golden possibilities, but tonight

there can be nothing, my hands are cold in yours,
the earth bears this paradox of churning stillness,

the wind that was to fetch the dawn lies at our feet,
what do we do love, when love is not enough?

Walking on My Khe Beach

The weary sea yawns wide, knees tucked under her chin,
wrapped in a silken sheet of rippling grey, unaffected

by the falling sky who tosses as if in a dark fever, brows
knit, fingers extended towards the shore, wanting the arms

of the reluctant ocean, wishing the clouds would lead
him away, maybe somewhere else there is the warmth of a

more willing bed. I walk along the edge, a lone fishing boat
stalls, refusing to return empty handed, the birds yelling

at him as they pass, gather your nets and accept your
hunger, the moon will not come to you tonight. Perhaps,

that’s all we need, something to move us, something to move
towards, something that cannot bear to see us standing still.

I pull my jacket close and shiver, there is a breeze, the
ghostly light of a boat, and definitely, a cold, cold breeze.