Jambula tree

When Sylvie and I are six

we eat jambula till our tongues turn indigo

then we travel home with night licking our heels.

In the morning, our foreheads still anointed

in violet blessings, we twine our stick-arms around its branches

and stuff banana fibre dolls in the hollows of its roots.

We swaddle make-believe babies in grass-blankets

and check on them between bouts of hide and seek.

Now we are twenty six, in a cafè on a tree-lined street

we sit over Caesar salad and white wine

and Sylvie raises her ring finger to the sun,

“These hands wash his boxers.” And I see

a high priestess in a harem

where wives are judged by how well

they wash skid marks off their husband’s underwear

by how fervently they pray away the cum from his encounters

with sharp-breasted-round-hipped girls.

Sylvie will elect for C-Section to stay tight

her baby will feed on a bottle, her breasts will stay


                             and I, remain

watching her mauve-stained soles, matte black lipstick

that will not bleed. Even after drinks.

                                                              Maybe she bleeds in other ways.


Link to the Italian version

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