Hot quadrangle lined with
sunrise papayas, king coconuts;
the din of cleavers,
rubble of intestines and
Station Road, Kandy.
‘Halō! Āyubōvan! A salaam aleykum!’
Clamour and pang of
new markets, stall-faces of
cardamom eyes, Aryuvedic oil nostrils,
tea leaf lips: white, cinnamon,
vanilla shoots, taking root after
Tea for Katherine, tea for Mum,
ethnic, clean, gift-shopper’s dream.
News clipping on the tea-shelf
slips, grainy image of a Tamil man.
Naked in handcuffs, blindfold-tie trailing
as he tips into a marsh,
Kalashnikov singing his lullaby.
Hurriedly shuffled away, back to
talk of tea and Kandy.