as if papaya could move
as if papaya could sing

Papaya will show you how,
how to dance sitting down,
singing like a vendor swaying up the street.

Eat light and become papaya,
roll glutted with sunshine,
curved for the slow dance in a terracotta glow.

Make a fiery entrance, burst through paper wall,
a drum roll here we are,
a bright brass interruption, centre stage silhouette.

Spit bitter black seeds, strike out and swing,
fling firecrackers down, snapping demons at your feet.

Papaya will show you how
how to dance with nothing at all
but slow smooth curves, voluptuous ease,

easy as a breeze, honey light of dawn,
juice of morning to fill you up.

So shake each minute bright as carnival
preen and shimmy and slide,
down to the dregs of your cup,

down to the last drop of all you’ve got
papaya will show you how.


Think of it as a house
she told me at the beginning.
To go there, I have to close my eyes.
We build it week by week.
I have to do this on my own.
She cannot go with me.
Some of the windows are lit,
but most of the house is in darkness.
There is a high fence to climb over,
warning signs to ignore. Once inside,
I feel my way blind along the corridors
and try the handle of every door.
It is not my father’s house
but he is there with his anger
set off again. I saw him once through glass
but he could not touch me.
Sometimes my brother comes around.
I follow in the glow of all he knows.
He carries a bag fat with memories.
Was it your brother gave you these?
Perhaps I should speak to him.
The hour we keep is all we have together.
I bring her what I have found,
fixed in words on sheets of paper
scattered over the table between us.
What is memory and what is a dream
we cannot know for sure.
Be wary of dreams, she says.
They don’t lie but they are not the truth.
Remember, what is unreal
cannot be undone. I nod my head
to show I’ve understood.