Mura h-urrainn dhuinn earbsa a chur anns na naidheachdan a leughas sinn no a chluinneas sinn no a chì sinn nach biodh e cho math dhuinn gach inneal a chur dhethagus èisteachd ri buillear cridhe fhèin? Feuch an tigeadh guth tron t-sàmhchair.
A mean wind wanders through the backcourt trash.
Hackles on puddles rise, old mattresses
puff briefly and subside…
I say her phrases to myself
in my head
or under the shallows of my breath,
restful shapes moving.
The day and ever. The day and ever.
You could travel up the Blue Nile
with your finger, tracing the route
while Mrs Tilscher chanted the scenery.
Tana. Ethiopia. Khartoum. Aswân.
I am moving in the dead of night, packing things, turning out lights. My fingers tie knots like fish nets. I want to be in my mother’s house but she is all the way over the other side of the world. Boxes; I can’t see out of the back window. Leila is a bundle in […]
When I was eight, I was forced south. Not long after, when I opened my mouth, a strange thing happened. I lost my Scottish accent. Words fell off my tongue: eedyit, dreich, wabbit, crabbit stummer, teuchter, heidbanger, so you are, so am ur, see you, see ma ma, shut yer geggie or I’ll gie you […]
Built like a gorilla but less timid,
thick-fleshed, steak-coloured, with two
hieroglyphs in his face that mean
This morning I watched from here
a helicopter skirting like a damaged insect
the Empire State Building,
In his dark room he is finally alone
/ with spools of suffering set out in ordered rows.
/ The only light is red…
It was late September. I’d just poured a glass of wine, begun
/ to unwind, while the vegetables cooked. The kitchen
/ filled with…
We came from our own country in a red room
/ which fell through the fields, our mother singing
/ our father’s name to…
I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are.