Issue 141, 2007, ISSN 0300-4425
She’s carrying a child,
face fuzzy with sleep, clinging
spaghetti straps stretched over bony shoulders.
carrying the tiredness of starting work at 5am,
of his children back in Venezuela.
carrying a sudoku, a neat cage of numbers
the lump and the hospital letter.
carrying a basil plant in a plastic bag,
paperback with a gunman on its cover.
carrying the confidence of a new haircut,
sweat of last night’s brief encounter.
carrying the lines of forty years of loneliness,
fantasies about his neighbour’s daughter.
carrying a furry bookmark, gift from her mother,
notes from last week’s lecture.
carrying a walking stick in twisted fingers
rhythms from a sonnet he struggles to remember.
carrying sunglasses, a tortoiseshell compact,
red lipstick for the morning’s hangover.
carrying the Sun, indigestion from a fried breakfast,
of the woman with the long vowels and laptop computer.
carrying a set of headphones she shares with her sister,
rainbow of gel pens, two scrunchies and a history folder.
carrying a mobile phone, a headful of tangled wires,
bleach, citric acid and baking soda.