Your mother smiled with charming hate each time she let me in.
She said that writing stories was lying and a sin,
this after I had told her
I wrote fiction.
At the end of every meal,
she would pick someone from her clan
to read the bible. I’m glad to say
that it was never me.
After the meal, during prayers
I wondered where I would begin to peel
the paper layers off the wall
that stood between us.
I should commence above the dark brown clock
that hammered headaches every quarter of the hour,
night and day.
I tried to understand
the after dinner conversation
but there wasn’t any.
We had to sleep apart, me in your room, you in the attic,
but you came back at nights, our breathing kept on hold
while we could hear the others
On Sundays we would wait until they went to church
so we could make belated love.
One day the minister was ill. Your family surprised us
returning home too early.
But then they were surprised as well
to find us naked in the kitchen, erected
in the early morning light.
You spilled the salt and I looked back and laughed.
And every Monday crows would tell me
that I did not belong and should go home
and every Monday they were right.