Island of the Raped Women

There are no paved roads here and all of the goats
are well-behaved. Mornings, beneath thatched shelters,
we paint wide-brimmed straw hats. We paint them
inside and outside. We paint very very fast. Five
hats a morning. We paint very very slow. One hat
a week. All of our hats are beautiful and we all look
beautiful in our hats. Afternoons, we take turns:
mapping baby crabs moving in and out of sand, napping,
baking. We make orange and almond cake. This requires
essence and rind. Whipped cream. Imagination.
We make soft orange cream. This requires juice
of five oranges and juice of one lemon. (Sometimes
we substitute lime for the lemon. This is also good.)
An enamel lined pan. Four egg yolks and four ounces
of sugar. This requires careful straining, constant
stirring, gentle whisking. Watching for things not
to boil. Waiting for things to cool. We are good
at this. We pour our soft orange cream into custard
cups. We serve this with sponge cake. Before
dinner, we ruffle pink sand from one another's hair.
This feels wonderful and we pretend to find the results
interesting. We all eat in moderation and there is no
difficulty swallowing. We go to bed early. (Maybe, we
even turn off lights. Maybe, we even sleep naked. Maybe.)
We all sleep through the night. We wake eager from dreams
filled with blue things and designs for hats.
At breakfast, we make a song, chanting our litany
of so much collected blue. We do not talk of going
back to the world. We talk of something else
sweet to try with the oranges: Sponge custard.
Served with thick cream or perhaps with raspberry sauce.
We paint hats. We paint hats.

Frances Driscoll
Contents | Mudlark No. 2
Outrageous Behavior