For Lefa, with love
There is so much to fear how will the work of it ever be
thoroughly done in the half-felt, incomplete hours?
She gets up in the night, pulls on her dressing gown,
scuffs her feet across the floor (past the picnickers in the hall)
to the kitchen to make some kind of soup. Salt, salt, pepper, salt.
She lays a cloth napkin across her knees and sips from a spoon.
Salt, salt, pepper salt: It tastes of childhood,
the combination flavours of safety and harm.
It is natural to be afraid, says the shadow, who has followed her
from the bedroom (past the picnickers in the hall)
and sits across the table from her, watching the spoon break
the surface of the soup. She folds the napkin and pats
at the corners of her mouth. Salt, salt, pepper, salt.
In the morning the soup pan, the bowl, the spoon, the napkin,
have all been cleared away. She tastes dread in her throat,
salt, salt, pepper, salt, the flavour of the waking dream.