Poems

The Wood Turner

 

Hardly a stretch of skin without a crease,

tufts of hair from every possible place,

cataract eye, flesh just on its frame;

 

and yet before him, an array of the smoothest wood

the finest grain, burnished with oil and love,

making bowls your fingers ached to touch.​

 

What We Learned in Playgrounds:

 

the mystery of public space, unfettered.

How adults do not rule in every place.

An affinity for airstrips and roads;

 

the taste of asphalt, sucked from wells. We learned

of soul mates, hanging off railings with Paul

from the orphanage - then one day he was gone.

 

Of swirling gangs, led by those who will later lead

the country. Of weather, how its good for you,

its puddle contours; how to yearn for a radiator.

 

The worrying fatness of thighs on benches.

The strangeness of girls, their games of hair

and rope we once dared ourselves play.

 

Dark rumours of menstruation. Of playground refuge

from forced semolina. The precise partitions of age;

how to be victim, how then to perpetrate.

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