There it is, says Indirah, wiping her hands on her apron
As the sun slips down through towers and towers of clouds
The cold china cups just a hairsbreadth away from the edge
Of understanding about falling
They wait, unbroken in another kitchen, another time
As Nana scores the rinds of fruits allowing the juice to seep
Into the twentieth century. A child is out in the sepia dusk
Counting pods or beans from a cargo chest from a ship
Dead at the ocean floor.
All things tend toward dissipation, toward irreversibility
The moon cannot speak to children, yet it does…
A slap cannot be recalled but mechanises into a desire…
To remove a dress by wriggling out one arm at a time
Lying down straight and unsleeping with an irrational partner
Waiting for the time he will roll you over again
And say the very lovely thing that he has withheld
For half a century.
The words, the deeds, the customs transmogrified
Into complete laws; pass the sugar is an example
Can be command or request
Indirah digresses, one hand on the door latch
She remembers Nana and the subtle weaving
Of her plaited hair, her own once prepubescent, breast.
Veronica Aldous 2016 All Rights Reserved