to unhinge your embrace of
 of a sepia-toned rainbow
 i rewrote the rules of flinty conventions
 so you could undream all your pilfered dreams.

 when you cried the lament of being
 someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone’s mother
 i remembered what my mamma told me
 about how to treat a lady.

 and, if her words were intoxicated with the truth of every lie
 or reeked of some good to be found in confronting every evil,
 then i have done you no harm.
 i only wanted you to live

 the same life loaned to us all
 but if my simple deeds have failed
 to catch the hubris or to pull apart a citrus smile
 in the web of these verses

 then i blame no one, but myself.
 it is strung too haphazardly
 to mediate the crevices of unyielding silence
 to make your song mine.

 you said, ‘i ain’t no skanky ho’
 and in this forsaken darkness
 punctuated by the insolent buzz of flies
 i still carry you in my heart after all these years.

Sydney, September 2015
Copyright © Gopall Naiir