‘Enough!’ I cut him off. ‘You’ll puke
no further rubbish, wretch! You stand
on my Republic, a foreign land,
and spout your legal gobbledygook
as if it had some meaning here.
Your status, devil, is still unclear.
Are you an immigrant? A crazed
asylum seeker (if so, I know
your persecutor!). A tourist dazed
with culture shock? Quick! Declare
your purpose. And valid visa show.’
Now every contour everywhere
was charred or by a moonbeam chalked.
On every cloud, each gleaming rock,
each cheek and nose and tooth, was printed
a spark or flint of moonbeam glinted.
‘He’s knocked his head,’ Sayeed salaamed
and simpered, bowed, kowtowed
and said: ‘First words he’s spoken aloud.
Indeed, more like a man embalmed
he’s been these many weeks since we
were shipwrecked here – until the sea,
just now, delivered our deliverer…
Good Shepherd, have you spare clothes? Oh, not
for me, oh no. (I’ve been a shiverer
so long, no heat will halt this palsy).
For him, I mean…Now listen, you’ve got
a radio? I’ll make some calls – he
needs a doctor, someone at hand
when we arrive on New Z’s land.
And newsy we will be, I’ll say.
An article in Woman’s Day?
How much they pay for stories like these?
But come, Arcady, our mothers! Let’s go.
Our mothers await us! Alright then…slow,
No need to hurry either.’ He added: ‘But please,
I beg you, Arcady, dispel this trance
of yours. Let’s sail with circumstance.’
I, of course, was nowhere bound
but to that rock. My mind was wild,
my thoughts like orcas swimming round
some helpless, phocine, fatty schemes.
But all my flesh was firmly isled,
my legs two fixed and bolted beams.
The creaking sound of Dexter’s boat
was like a whimpering child, the note
of something helpless, adipose
and edible – and now, so close.
So close! That boat! A chance to tweeze
my Turkish tic from me (less direly;
not squeeze it from this world entirely).
A means to rid my rock of these
unwanted sharers (not homicidally,
no splattered blood or brain; but tidily).
And just like that, Fate’s indiscretion
was forgiven. She’d never intended
to cuckold me. A wrong impression.
An innocent error, that’s all. Sayeed
would sail away, my troubles ended.
Dexter, too, was sure to recede.
Alas. Narrators should never be trusted.
Plans revealed are always adjusted.
More Tuesday Poems at Tuesdaypoem.blogspot.com.