Who had children. Who died.
Who found himself lucky after thirty years
and stumbling home realised
it was a simple error.
Seven years old,
on loan to an uncle
and a bundle of cash went missing.
For three days locked in a room, beaten
You in the high-walled fortress of sleep
I on an island of wakefulness
bird-haunted, trapped by mist
The mountain beyond that pass has no name. It is too old for us to name it. The sea has the same colour as the sky but the mountain has the same colour as sand. Sand is not earth but a fluid shoreline that leads to the great cities.
I don’t know how many things there are in this world that have no name. The soft inner side of the elbow, webbed skin between the fingers, a day that wanders out beyond the tidal limits and no longer knows how to summon the
I am learning to see:
Long dark streets, a certain wall,
The intestines of houses left open to the sky,
Pipes hanging like disconnected throats.
When you wake again
the donkey will be standing idly in the road,
the old man will open his shop,
the seagulls will tread critically
Examine the candidate’s state of mind
as he inscribed the answers to all of the above
and estimate the temperature of his brain cells
as he lay awake in the cubicle at night
They opened the dikes five times that year to flood the land.
Cities were torched, the inhabitants bound and gagged,
then forced at lancepoint into the frozen canals.
I was executing yet another portrait of the public trustees of an orphanage