Issue 101, Winter 1986
The woman is preparing her body for sleep.
She hangs the hair forward
and it almost touches her feet.
After brushing, she throws it up and back
on to her shoulders. Then splashes water
on her face twenty times.
There is someone inside her happier
than she is, waking as she goes to sleep.
A child rolls a ball to where Death stands
and waits for him to roll it back.
But Death does not touch it.
Death covers his face with his hands
and turns away. The child runs after
wanting to play.
The woman would like a husband and child.
The desire is curled within her body.
She takes flowers into the man’s house
and thinks of finding music on the radio.
He puts his cheek against her cheek,
his mouth on her naked shoulder.
There is no music. She pays attention
to his body. It is night and quiet
all around his embraces.