Late in the day she decides to locate the silverand find the brass, and so opens the cupboards -
a hodgepodge of old style metal utensils,
worship-ware, plates faintly holy with sandalwood marks still
and stacked, outdated candles for the water filter
who uses them now? how absurd!
to keep them taking up space and possibly, time;
and love letters from years ago! broken bird-wings
of affection, handwritten line by line
tongue-tied emotions hyperventilating
in laboriously well-formed words.
Some of the metal’s so discoloured, it’s difficultto make out the material, its probable value
only gauged by the weight upon her wrist
she’s hardly planned for this. The sudden surface of tarnished
plates, hidden nuances of dulled
reverence, the decayed bones and sinews
of silver, brass; in secret closets of skeletal
houses whispered away long ago, an unflattering past stalks
the present, fingerprints on smudged metal
cracked ivory candles, panting words caught
undressed in love’s crosstalk, vaguely violated taboos.
She can hear the cycle chap on his weekly roundscalling out to no-one in general “Repairs?”
the silence babbles; there are no coherent replies.
On the opposite terrace, the retired clerk sighs
for the gaunt work years; cars abound
two to each parking slot now everywhere
only the children possess posh all-terrain
machines of predatory aero-dynamism, whose parts
never need mending; anyway they don’t deign
to use repaired things, they just discard.
Cycles, filters, skeletal houses. Tarnished silver worship-ware.
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