Published by Think Locally Magazine (Summer 2009)
Footsteps echo in the hall,
in each pause, the fall of heavy fabric.
Pure morning. Quenched of dreams, scenes
of the piano played beautifully by a cat
wearing orange shantung, to a Bengali poet
lounging on a raffia bed. It was Zanzibar.
The amulet is engraved with the figure of a centaur.
He unties the leather thong from her throat,
picks the fig seeds stuck in the casing. She
removes her gloves, finger by finger.
The crashing of an ocean and broken sculpture. She
lifts herself from the embroidered bed,
the afternoon saffron, kneels to inspect the cracked
tiles for scraps of poems as the lantern candles are lit
late into the evening, as though stars hung by only
strings. She searches the beach wrapped in black silk,
wary of tiny sea-creatures and wrecked ships.
The amulet glows dully as she chooses her steps.