I dip my brush again as the pigeons rise
followed by the squirrel
and the upstairs neighbour
pounding fresh ginger for morning chai
the river hears her hurried footsteps
with rapt attention, at its bend
under the shade of the mangroves,
a boat and a promise patiently wait
ready to carry her away.
years ago I bid adieu to my homeland
the colours of autumn that stained my heart
have long faded and the rivers that ran
deep in the lines of my hands have dried
I breathe deeply, eyes closed,
inhale the aromas that we once shared,
the crackling warmth of wood stove,
the tang of our salt-laced bodies.
I open my eyes, light a cigarette,
somewhere time died in misty solitude
and the river between us froze.
cigarettes, float like decomposed corpses
bloated with memories, voices, tense with
longing, rustle through the trees, possessed
and restless the midnight lingers.