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Monday, 18 August 2014 21:53

Domestic Bliss



Goodness knows what happened to my last e-mail.

I keep a little diary of days,

is someone’s heart beaten between us?

Because something stronger than my love for you

is twisting in your guts.


The yello dog looked at me with its bright yello face:

“There must be some secret for my life.”


You are beautiful,

but you are burnt.


Oh Canary with teeth,

you Manduca Hawk Moth

edgy, a thick cage, you can’t touch it.


There must be some code.


And you forget how lovely you thought this once was,

and how open.

One bowl and one cup, and here we are.

I fed you in my body

when everyone else was gone.


See me run.


The beginnings of soup,

“Enquire first floor.”

Rice pudding. Tuna rice

(and all that stuff about aubergines.)


I have lots of little crevices to fill.

I touch you so that you don’t, and I will.

So that you know they exist,

so you know they are yours.


That food came to sit in you like certainty.

The descendants of your rhubarb –

the dynamics of disgust,

whatever notion of failure or blindness you might have had.


It took courage in parking lots.


I think I’ll just have a little bath,

creating more problems in the laundry-line.

Garment care, Tuesday to Friday, the comfort of awfulness,

the way pain begins to separate us.


Some soft house slippers and intimations of intimacy

  for whatever reason.

You have no clue.

Your letters shouting on the fridge:

“Who knows if you are a Beastie, but you!”


“You have a kind of domestic wrath, darling.”

Cutting off the parts of you that hurt me.

Whisky amidst the cleaning products,

and an angry wank

is no good.


I’ve raised you with supposition,

I’ve raised you with prayers.

I bit you in Paradise,

I apologise.

For whatever reason.

I have no clue.


Something in me is abhorred by something in you.


Allah came to me in the pudding;

he said

it’s perfect

even and although it’s burnt.


Perhaps I need to temper my joy,

watching your washing drying.


How is it for us

doing a violence to yourself,

even just the way you talk about me

in poems like this.


Image: Flyswat by Jana van Niekerk

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Jana van Niekerk

Previously published in ITCH: A poem called Amniocentesis, with accompanying visuals (a painting of mine called Mother's Day) in e.ISSUE 9

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