An old woman retires,
dreaming without regret.
Outside, the rustling grass.

Under the house, a draughtsman yawns.
He strains to think of kings, again,
and why a gelding culture
doesn’t think to reach headlong
into the procession to ask
a passing queen—
now, a young girl touring a freshly picked empire—
why are you here and what,
beyond the sweated backs,
embittered cocoa skins, tropic gardens,
do you want?

A dog,
walking like a broken
accordian, interrupts.

Across the street,
the smoldering heap
of a day old fire dies.

No time for talk of colonialism
or the way colonies shiver
at dewpoint when night make to sleep.

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