I unfurl the leaf, serrated edges
are questions that fall limp like offerings.
Words sit in corners, their shadows lengthening
into startling ghosts. The tar at the bottom
sticky, holds my voice in total dumbness.
On the table I place pain polished with love;
allow me a prayer – sound flutters to the sky
leaving earth in a cave of quietness.
Then the orange noise of my soul sets flight
following an arc skewed from your axis.
Art by S H Raza
That is where I sit
on the shaft of light
from a different time
when walls were painted the same color
as my dreams;
the way moon tangled in the branches
shadow on dark grass splayed
like an awkward spider.
I found you
on the bed like that
hands that held me
did not let go. I remember
phone number that I called,
year after year
my pain falling in a silent house.
As I turn away a boulder dislodges,
the earth moves in a heap of dust.
Is that a sound from gut of existence,
a sigh that emanates as lung sucks air,
slices language from bars of vacuum?
A word peeps from the rubble of life,
I pull it out, iron away the creases,
hold it against the sun. Lines blur,
loops of space fill the luminous paper.
Pools of light dance in retina because
what we hold closest we cannot see.
The honeyed evening light flows into the room,
pools in my eyes as I search for you.
The waves deposit little shells on my skin -
secrets of deep places and maps of long distance.
Cave hums with life when I unearth knotted roots
like patterns of veins on leaves flushed with light.
Quartz leaves on the pages watermarks of grey,
the way voyages through dunes leave invisible trails.
I am the goddess of desert, my skin is foliage of browns,
a landscape scarred and cracked with thirst.
Bring me marigold,
the flower a bee won’t visit,
that’s where I will leave my heart.
Bones eaten by teeming termites
crumble to ash that blows over mustard field,
yellow blossoms with pockmarks of grey.
Water fills my lungs
scoops grey phlegm of sadness
that has hardened into a tablet of story;
it floats like wax on the surface of sea.
Tell me, will you dish it out,
have the script rewritten?