Haibun for Ocean Vuong
salty slap across the face.
Must you speak up now?
You realise, you know, you never stop migrating. Wings open, yet your feet are clumsy roots gasping for water in the summer heat. Screaming for comfort on the winter. Fields turn to jungle turn to fields turn to tundra in the Equator. Pollen squirts, awkward mating rituals, received with a series of sneezes. The sunflower mourns in the darkness, but when light comes back, spring hayfever blocks all view. You know that hidden Monet garden past the marshes at the local park? It can live with or without you.
shows different ways in which
umbrellas don’t work.
In perpetual monsoon, you still worry in vain and wonder who will water the plants. Beneath the sun, at noon, you gasp for a tanning bed. Greenhouse agoraphobia in the middle of the Amazon, a caveman myth revisitation. The window shows florae and faunae, birds covered in day-glo feathers,
voluminous plants of neon, songs muffled by double glazing. Yet you don’t believe they’re real. High definition movies on a broken streaming service. No signal. Always loading.
Only brought one scarf.
A collection of colours,
but just one scarf.
Written at Mouthy Poets Arvon Retreat, tutored by Malika Booker and R.A. Villanueva, December 2016.