I dreamt I was pregnant. And pleased.
I dreamt I was roasting live fish by the ocean, against a violently setting sun. The fish turns dark and charred inside the fire and I place it with great care on my plate. It changes. Turns into earthworms which refuse to die. They try to escape my plate, my fork, the cave of my mouth where I thrust them in anyway.
And slurp them like slippery, electric noodles. Question marks hanging from my mouth.
Dreams need to be diagrammed
The bend of my plant towards the light
It smelled like sun baked
feet. Strewn across the yard
were pieces of car tire rubber,
marking the empty backyard.
As if some un-imaginable demon had
let out its rage through the underbelly of automobiles.
Rigged border wars
Tires and splinters
grate fired coal
feet and sun eat blood,
As evening slipped into place, the glass pane that I was leaning on, had grown cold. The setting sun baked its last heat into the window pane and bent the light inside the room. Spots of color appeared on the floor like stains, like spills, like mistakes.
The rupture could not be mended – there were no tools, no words that could help. The wounds were ossified relics from an older, gone-away age. They were necessary memories of a forgotten people and a left-behind time.
The trick is to not let time unspool.
Keep those minutes and hours boxed up, carefully.
Spend each second stingily — it is one less metaphysical flake from your mortality after all.
So un-leash each minute as if it is the last breathe that you take on your death-bed, remembering the loves of your life.
Leave infinity to roam inside you –
let it gather momentum and rip apart each scar and rush through and out.
Leave infinity to crash around in the hollow of your heart.
Let it spread in — out.
Leave no room for uncertainty; fold it’s dull chipped edges into a corner.
Be fickle. Unmask.
She liked the edges of things. Yellow borders that mark caution, fire escapes and brick walls.
She was drawn to splinters, scraps, bits and pieces of things. There is something about clutching only a shard of something that feels correct. The broken moon, bent flowers, singed bread toast. Damaged books with crumpled edges.
Most things are too big for us to grasp anyway. Most things lie empty, clattering noisily in the dark — waiting patiently to be released, to be collected. To be gathered up, to belong inside a bundle.
She preferred things that were left alone, too shiny to be discarded, but forgotten nonetheless.
Momma never knew.
Cornered inside the pantry, Mariam pushed her against the wall and slid her tongue between her lips. Momma would call out and Leila ran, hands shaking, flour surrendered.
“Why’re you sweating, girl? Go wash your face.” She did, she ran.
Momma never knew that Mariam waited for Leila by the school-gate daily. They walked home, fingers locked, munching almond cookies. Momma never knew how Mariam would press her fingers inside her skirt under the dinner table, nodding her head at Momma. “Yes, Aunty” – “No, Aunty” — “We’re gonna go up, study in Leila’s room, Aunty.”
Momma never knew.