The mud-boiling face of the river, the fragile
boats piled with mint, the rudiments of trees
and the monkeys adroit as silica
have become Sri Lanka. By a kitchenette,
striped green cushions of water-melons.
A man sits, dreaming, and I ask myself
who plays this man? Who animates his pretty,
quiet wife? Their agents must bid on behalf
of their charmingly filthy children,
and the unnecessary diseases they die from
will be cured or prevented somehow.
Nothing sleeps unless sleep is part of the backstory.
The way that loin-clothed beggar extends
his wand of an arm must give way to aura.
At the heart of the rectangle, he’s ours.
The gut-strewn dog in the ditch will gift
its pixellation to pull-back shots. The egrets
that settle with grace on the cattle are already
January on your calendar. Here I am in zoom,
my roseola at the disposal of foreground.
The clouds are translating in fast forward,
in time-lapse, in anything but the awkward
skies. The loin-cloth, the melon-seller know
and they’ve surrendered. But look at the egrets,
their feathers have not been trafficked
as they flap, indolent in the haze.