Tuesday, July 29, 2008

La Villette, September 2005

by Phillippa Yaa De Villiers

The subway station:
empty eyes, the flaccid legs
of passive passengers,
invisible violence of silence in
this inhospitable home:
a transient family of
strangers speaking indifference
in seven languages.

Below a pouting nymph in crusted lace
sits a daughter of Allah, her face
framed by the sombre constraint of her faith.

Frozen images
entice her eye,
kitchens and lingerie
advertising intimacy.
Cold stares of
fellow passengers
denying her

Rails clatter, and she rises to greet
the evening train, her eyes alive, meeting
this rushing tube of motion, exploding open.

The man’s divining eyes
turn over the pebbles of the evening faces,
discard them
till he finds her,
his everyday bride,
married to the moment,
their eyes
celebrate a union:
here, at last
they are
at home.

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