Woke up to sun this morning, the first sun
in a week. The trees seemed to open their
leaves, stretch themselves, yawn achingly.
A magpie swooped across the overgrown lawn,
a cyclone of black and white feathers.
The warmth takes me back to Delhi, in the hotel
that grew a forest in its foyer, the smell of manure
floating around our room. One night I awoke from
a dream in which I was trying to escape that forest.
Past midnight, the temperature outside still over 35,
the loose rivets of the air-conditioner interrupting
our sleep patterns. I left you snoozing and pulled
open a curtain, letting in the light of the city –
there’s always light in that city, it never fades.
The window shielded us from the struggle outside:
the lit braziers of the kebab sellers, the dim bulbs
of the masala tea houses, couples huddled
in booths, men collapsed across the seats
of rickshaws, stray dogs sniffing at rubbish
swept into street corners, a woman on a bicycle
her crimson sari floating out behind like a tree on fire.
You sigh, roll over on the mattress to cool
your warmed side. The stars unhinge themselves,
falling and settling like sediment in a sluggish universe.
Air corrodes the colour from clouds
a beating butterfly spins into
rainwater, falls into the sun
reflected in the
Deep in the earth the bats
are dying, deeper than a tree’s
roots the worms are retreating.
Our own lives intersect into
A denuded saint wept in the sand dunes
I saw the blood flowing from his
temples. I saw the thorn dig into
his side. I saw the rib a cradle of
It rained the morning we
entered Zagreb. The church spires
caught the early sunlight; so many
we used them to count out our lost
The butterfly breathed in an entire
universe, a microcosm lost between
the many times we arrive, balancing
the many times we need to