Cinnamon salt

I sat in pulsing silence

a drip of sweat over sunscreened cheek

of just-before-1pm

 

The temple was red

and “mom, it smells like old indian people”

came floating through the open door

 

Incense went stick upon stick

from an endless donation box to Confucius

and other gods

 

I didn’t know

but I did remove my shoes;

flat leather plates with thinning straps

 

Sitting, exhausted

on a tiled step of tourist history

 

I could tell, after ten minutes

another bunch of americans had gathered near

“oh look shhhh! she’s praying!”

 

Maybe I was

maybe the ignorant tourist was praying

in an ancient temple devoted to gods and figures of eternal wisdom and power

she didn’t know or understand

 

Still I breathed in the perfume dust,

knowing there’s always

the beach

 

From kneeling to swimming

it’s a 4km pilgrimage from here

so the sign says

 

I’ll go now

I’ll wash away the sweat and sins

by sea

Drunk in Brussels

  

She is talking to me through the air

“Where will we go ne-“

A hand burnt on hand
A hand on a handburn
A hazy half-ternoon hand

“wasn’t that Accordian player -“

Sun.
Fingers crashing into beer
glass that is lifted,
By Magic!

A slurping of fizzy brown

Next-door mouths babble and sing
what language is
that
or, the language of

Drink

The mint leaves in his glass
Light coddled warm

Sliding up the wall, His head is the
centre of time

Green are trees
Head is shaking her girl
in the corner

His Open is shirt in the
Sky.

Sun

I like seeing the morning rise
I don’t mind if you don’t

Sitting there like
what’s the point, really

Nevertheless
we were nestled against the Doric columns in silence
you fingering the tassels on my scarf

But even I feel the disparity between seeing and thinking

Whilst the colours rose,
I was mentally selecting the right words to use in a text message to my mum

You were looking up why is the sky blue? on Google
I also got a snapchat from my friend
at a club in Australia

At the same moment that the sun burst through in all its gloriousness,
a plane dirtied the sky above
and my friend screaming and drunk
on the flashing video in my hand
neon to black

Now here, now gone
the clouds settled, and I’m walking back
people holding their grubby mugs and frowning
it’s 9am

The world has forgotten the sun ever rose in the first place