Doused Sun

This earring always reminded me of the 5 o’clock sun

peeking out behind the Blue Mountains –

the gem you once wore in your left ear

behind kinky silvery-grey hair, granny.

I rest it in the cradle of my palm;

like Atlas, I cannot let this sacred orb crash

to the floor like you did on a Sunday last spring.

That morning when I read to you,

you kept your eyes closed,

rubbed the knob in your ear religiously,

told me how you found poetry funny

when them writer bwoys always a seh

is only Autumn tings can dead;

I laughed and remembered one ‘writer boy’

who wondered out loud why people can’t just die anymore.

But I never told you that –

the sudden raspy cough jerking your body forward

shut me up instead.

I never knew where you got this one earring from,

I just assumed you picked it up off the roadside

like every other carouches old people find

as fandangle to decorate their homes,

but now my vision swims with this doused orange sun

and in the midst of it, a haunting memory of your broken arm

jutting out from your static body, flat as the mat

at the foot of the living-room stairs.

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