They used to eat lobsters here,
Before beginning the end of ends;
In restaurants, on promenades or piers
Which have since all disappeared –
Overlooking the Papal Bay of Scampi
Patés of blue tomalley.
Fresh from the sea, picked from a pot,
Seasoned with salt for a rich polyglot;
Suspended in freezers, icy blocks,
They tied the pincers, joined the dots;
As he played with his ring
He lied to his wife that his lover had gone.
A lobster with one claw or less is named
A Cull, in Maine and the eastern seaboard.
The male transfers sperm through its legs,
The red is the red of the roe;
We breathe through our gills
Through the gaps in our toes.
Once we have extinguished all nature,
Where will dharma and karma take us?
My hands are changing before me,
My body will soon have its telson.
I will adapt to a life on dark distant beds,
Before I am speared, for fatter men fed.
Drizzle days, this cage
Is rusty, of aged metal.
Make me next petalled.
Duck dreams in stomachs;
We could have built such systems
For love, and kindness.
But we built instead
I’ll sit beneath blooms
Of cherry blossom;
You are never forgotten,
Rumourmongers mulling made
The tale of a young assassin,
An absence of her earthly shape
And modern myths are pregnant.
She was aged twenty, and opaque,
Relatively young for assassins;
Though death rarely discriminates
Say politicians in this republic.
She wore a fine cheongsam
In red and golden fabrics,
Tasselled sleeves, I grappled
With the luxuries of Jungian
Interpretations for the lyric-dreams
Sown by an unfamiliar seaside seamstress.
She murdered her elderly grandmother
My mind’s street-peddlars reported,
(She killed men they said with just bare thighs,
Evaded detectives, and had them extorted),
Seven days before my task was fixed
To retrieve her missing earrings.
These opulent heirlooms had been lost
Mid-mission, in a Chinese restaurant’s
Red carpet, the deepest red I’d ever seen,
Like clotted blood from the neck
Of a dead Tragopan fed on Indian tulips
Stored in a rusty soup tureen.
The Dim Sum and Moo Shu pancakes
Were all covered with bamboo lids
Like the lids of braziers or buckets;
I examined the guts of Bombay Ducks,
While my accomplice found his own earrings
He too had lost, and turned to me to say
‘You know it’s a fish, the Bombay duck?’
Returning home, my daughters
Were playing in the hallway
And I was exhausted of my last luck;
The letterbox had lost its sleeve
And they could see me looking in
And reached towards me, but we
Could neither touch nor hold on to love.
Life would sound like something worthy of living
If I’d found her jewels in the carpet,
But living seems like something else,
And I am back to where I started.
In taps for our teeth,
I’m drinking chlorine uproar;
The chickens are dead.
Atlantic a pond,
The Disappeared are murdered.
Cherry blossom falls.
A tyrant’s counsel shared.
Call this my Trouble.
The bookies lead an inquest.
This is my country.
Nature’s tryst broken,
Garlic bulb, a womb of cloves.
We made this moment.