Every day the rake scoops the scattered loves
Of the quiet room. The soft and frail hands
Flatten out the quivering letters, shy of noises.
Human warmth comes from the tender register.
Butterflies flutter languidly, behemoths
Bearing down on the agoraphobic esoteric monk.
There were deaths stopping by, profound losses—
Seemed, they all, to remind her to live beyond
The graves that scramble for the jaundiced doors
Like expiring fates. Now, the desperate silk ties
Refuse to be psychopomps, unwieldy spirits
Rising like nocturnal dust, sleeping on terrified dew,
In forests whose denizens have gospel hearts
And predatory hands. The briny dust of Verwoerd’s
Island lies at the threshold of your heart. People—
These are a mere syllables away, from where
The child garbles the tongues of gods, sought
By mad professors through glassed cities. Were
You housed in some union buildings, what word
Would you send to the marketplace?