And two more prose poems.
By FAWZIA KANE.
Ice Cream Spoon in the Office
(after Jan Wagner)
THIS HEAT SHOULD call for it, but we use it to measure sugar & grounds of coffee. Yesterday I cleaned it with bleach. Now, inside its shine, the room is cupped until windows curve at each lip, the fluorescents on the ceiling make its shadow indistinct on paper printed with words that ask……write on small things…& yet the heat lingers over this lunchtime silence, among the tables & chairs — look — even flies from the bins outside on the pavement come in from the stink, & flit from desk to desk & go out again. But soon coffee will summon, & this small thing will return to the plastic rack, in the little kitchen hidden behind the archives, back to gauge & stir hot liquids, never to scoop that cold sweetness, release the drip of melt & shock of stickiness, the lick of tongues.
(Cwmdu, Brecon, Wales)
STARS DID NOT come out last night/ crows woke us from a sleep that had /the darkness of a cell within a cell where /my father’s voice called in echoes/ I can still hear him now, while you and I /walk along these hedgerows towards /the comfort of the fields below. small birds /settle on branches that shiver when the wind/ skims down the mountain’s slopes. but /the clouds are still stubborn, they darken /over the setting sun, then spit at us/ even the trees that earlier today/threw their bright blossom on our hair /and into our mouths, are beginning /to blur their shadows around our bodies/ the glow from some far city’s lights /pinches the horizon. last night was also /like this, when the edges of the sky /had turned into the colour of bruised /flesh against chains. now, in the distance /outlines of caravan windows announce /the evening. their lit screens grow /brighter, and cause the shapes of dusk /to thicken and envelop us as we walk/ beside me, everything fades/ I cannot see who you are anymore
MOUSE STAYS QUIET in crowds. He leans against the wall when the class is photographed. The others make startled faces, laugh with open arms. He pulls away in his New Romantic glow, hair tufted and yellow, changes his smoothed fur for corduroy trousers. His little paws are tucked into the pockets, feet dirtied in the same mud as the others. Mouse marks his Deafness with insouciance. He likes to play the bass. The low frequencies thump through his belly, and can penetrate brick walls. Mouse’s eyes are glacial blue, but will never see a glacier. He doesn’t like the idea of retreat. Mouse saw his parents die though their bodies still moved. He grew afraid he would fade to disappearance, as they did. He remembered their grimaces when rugs on the floor became holes to fall into. Mouse tried to carry them when they forgot how to walk. Mouse begins to scramble faster on his wheel. He decides he will not wait anymore. Mouse begins to see freedom every time it rains.
Fawzia Muradali Kane is an architect and poet. Born in Trinidad & Tobago, she is now a director of KMK Architects in London. Her poetry has been extensively published in anthologies and journals. Her poem “Kaieteur Falls” was shortlisted for the 2017 Montreal International Poetry Prize. Her debut poetry collection Tantie Diablesse (Waterloo Press 2011) was longlisted (poetry finalist) for the Bocas Lit Fest prize. In 2014, Thamesis published her long sequence Houses of the Dead as an illustrated pamphlet. She is now preparing her second collection of poetry.