Monthly Archives: July 2015

Lullaby

The
sun
settled
in fire
behind the mountain
perhaps twenty minutes before,
and now the world is pink calm
and darkening shadow,
the distant thud-thud-thud-thud
of a fishing boat,
a fish breaking the rippling surface close by.
The smell of a cigarette carries to me
from another foreigner
sitting a little way upstream.

How strange that the word for
“different”
in this language is also the word for
“wrong”,
but the words for “true” and “the same” are
different.
How strange that the word for
“French”
can also mean “foreigner”,
but there is a
different
word for “foreigner”
that does not mean “French”.

In the trees behind me
a gecko calls its own name,
piercing the evening like the chime of a clock.
And the foreigner with the cigarette
begins to sing softly
in French,
her voice soft, cracked,
lovely,
as the dusk
turns purple and night rises up from the river.

 

Dusk on Kampot River