In an exhibition cabinet

in the cultural museum

there is a black-faced deity,

it scares me.

It is wrathful

and powerful

you cannot deceive it

it will find you out.

Its tongue is sated

with human sacrifices.

It shall have me

and spit me out.



In the tepid solution of this bay,

mangroves murder the shore.

It is indefinite mud

the slush of ages

without a footprint.

I like the supreme indifference

of mudskippers

the unrelenting midday

the shipwrecked crabs

clambering for salvation.


Coral is exquisitely beautiful

so are the reef fish

clowning between

its candied branches.

There is the iron squeeze

of the moray eel

the beautiful agony of anemones.

But these are incremental

to the kaleidoscopic colour

the fragile thousand-year mesh

of coral.


Deep ocean creatures

enthral me.

If you haul them

to the surface,

they implode,

into distorted monsters,

far-fetched freaks

to disquiet your dreams.


You have a star-shaped scar

above your chest

where they did

keyhole surgery

and an attractive mole

placed upon your right cheek

I love them both

they sustain me.


You never woke me

although the wooden floors screeched

and the door frames creaked.

You’d pluck an eyelash

powder your nose

crack your fingers

I never stirred.

When sun shone through the curtains

you were gone.

Leaving just a hint of scent

and an open lipstick

and a boxful of dragonfly brooches

to say you had ever been.


You were a troubling child

having asthma and eczema,

wheezing even if rain

touched you.

We took you to the spa once,

that was wrong.

Your beleaguered breathing

holding your head above water

floating like a fragile bloom

about to be hospitalized.

But you were my child

beautiful as breakable alabaster

a gazer into eyes

my darling one.