You don’t want the story about the soft clutch
of monkey’s toes, how monkeys swung
languorous from limbs, showering down fruit.
But rather, the one about how
the blue-eyed Abando boy’s body hung
after he was lynched for robbing our house,
for robbing any place ever left empty.
You are not as interested in fruit—
hearing how it was heavy and pendulous
through the forest, a forest hung
with bunches of bananas, zapotes that fell
erupting orange custard among rambutans—
as in the way thieves ripped jewelry from women’s
ears, hooks pulled through the lobes, so they hung
with rubies of blood. You listen more closely
when I tell of how I clung
to the reins when a drunk whipped my horse
into a frenzy and out, swimming, to sea,
than of the tame iguana I hung
in a bird cage, fine wire formed into a palace.
Even though I fed him on hibiscus,
and could describe so many lush, red flowers,
folding from the mouth.
Rose McLarney | Tribute
Contents | Mudlark No. 4851 (2013)