His infant lust after language:
asylums filling with voices
of the profound: they lay on rolled
sails, inventing new flowers to name.
In small rooms fires erupt
from tea-cups, poppy seed and one-
legged visions pull his body back
intact to Somali shores, caravans.
He would clutch for hands, searching
for scars and panic he recalled placing
with a knife kept sharp for intimates;
staring into cut eyes of strangers.
Some wounded, some mended, his limping
love chasing down absinthe drunks
or child-like savages; Harar
or Paris, or the hospital
of the Immaculate Conception.
[Published in The Fiddlehead No. 187, Spring 1996]