What A Bomb Hits
Feel the dead heat of the quietening street,
see the early evening houses and the shutters
on the shops. Look at the row of highrise balconies
with their Aloe Vera plants.
See this door and behind it the tile-floored hallway?
Look at the outdoor shoes abandoned carelessly
by going-about-their-business feet?
Look in here and see shelves full of books
and the loose skinned hands
that choose one, thumb it and put it back?
Hear the sigh as someone older sits down
and now the tell-tale evenness of breath
that tells you sleep is near. Shhh now, come in here-
see the saucepans, turmeric, ginger, onions
and the glistening guts of something?
See the strong backed person cooking?
Her flush blood-orange cheeks?
Over here- see the empty good room?
With photos of the girl’s first day at school
her plump-armed prize for maths,
see her seven year-old gaptooth grin?
And now in the bathroom this very minute
see her neck nape exposed and older
as she kneels beside the bath,
see the henna swirl maroonish in the water
then disappear, see the soles of her bare feet,
see her calf muscles curve and how her skirt
is caught in behind her knees?
From the street below, listen to the overheating engine
of her teenage brother’s car as he tries to park it
see his sinewy biceps strain while he reverses inexpertly
his slim thighs pressed against the seat, see
on his unlined forehead the freshness
of glistening beads of sweat, now watch him slam the car door
and turn this way while the lazy street cat looks
at him unimpressed before settling back to lick itself,
then freeze all this and think of it
blown to smithereens
is what a bomb hits.