Martha Landman /A portrait of straight and narrow lines/

A portrait of straight and narrow lines

At the workshop he wanted to share your bed.

Early morning at the ablution block
two black cats ran towards you.

The Japanese nun laughed when you startled,
helped you with the foreign commode,
took your blood pressure and found little pulse.

“That’s okay” her colleague said, “she’s a writer”.

You struggled getting two white mice back
into their termite-infested cage,
tattooed a message on their bellies —
………….sweet the tongue that tastes of wild honey

You let this come to you in wordless song,
hid it from the old school friend next to you
just as the lover emerged from the end of his cigarette.

By now all the trees had fallen; a strange attempt
to ask for help; you were without shoes and money.

He was married to a woman half his age.

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