He was told
she'd fallen victim to
an epileptic earthquake
while he was away
she fatally hit her head on
their cedar night table
with its dainty china bowls
of sugared almonds
and pink paper lanterns
which set the room alight
a picnic for two lovers
turned into a fire of the brain
a tragic conflagration
of mosquito sheets
in the Malay jungle.
His recalls his immutable desire for her
her dappled skin the colour of nutmeg.
Their cries of carnal passion as
the sound of flamingos in flight
But there she swims celestially
along with other tangled limbs
his long dead wife.
Satan laughing at him.
Once a healthy man he
now has leprosy of forlorn love
whole red chunks of it falling
from his corpus
And he will never seek a cure from the God
of Israel. Or swim in the River Jordan.
He dismisses Elisha's healing hand
as mere superstition.
So he pricks their son's finger
and sucks it
to get a taste of her
sometimes. For he truly believes
his wife is still somewhere alive.