For Simone Atangana Bekono
Like a piece of fruit that’s heavy in the hand or too ripe, with its dark brown leaves, like –
think paper hearts that are starting to curl – like your pink carry-on was laden with stuff, and the pink line of sky that appeared.
Like your hands and your face, covered in handcream or
the motion that brings you your food while you sleep or you stand
like a horse and right after it’s gone or the lonesome expression of the blank minibar.
Like the way it was to be on your back; thinking
of the hand of the chef as it cleaves, into the red pulp; thinking
of the way that a man will draw blood once you’ve lowered your guard.
Like Houdini as you shrink from a hug; hold your stomach,
expecting the blow
Like you choose: deep red velvet
or a sweetheart neckline
or a new pair of earrings
each day. Like a computable number of shirts, on rotation, or the earth-like white smell of the laundry
or the blackhole of purple-near-blue
of a low blow
seeing stars bursting confidence like a balloon
like you bit in the meat of tomatoes on toast
nose to tail magic trick a woman being sawed up in two.
Like the one dot of oil (like an eye that observes) or the six perfect drops of white cream
the six spots of advice you won’t take. Like a face full of make-up you print
into a bedcloth as you come up to surface look up from your bowl
Like a plane or a boat
like a new reflection of old
like a spoon, tasting raspberries
wanting to scream about the colour of it.