The Hovel

His house was a hovel, a permanent reservoir of the scent of
cheap wine and wild berries chewed, the seeds spat on the floor
with the butts and foils of cigarettes, the fire outside a permanent
encampment of fish, game and some time hock from the market
when there is money to buy, otherwise, there is enough in the
woods to gather for a meal, a clay pot seals a hoard of fermenting
fruits, and in the evenings he is never cold, there is always room

 

This inheritance from a spinster aunt, she was a seamstress from
the first Chinese encampment in Kuala Lumpur, the third floor of
some British architecture, some fellow rumoured to have been
her lover, it is a small space but it is enough for a spinster and her
lover, enough for her solitary niece and her derelict muse from
the woods, from whom she decorated the bequest with the dried
pods of mahogany, crickets woven from coconut leaves, and such

 

She kept everything he brought her, and over the years curated
a diorama of his hovel in the woods in her colonial bequest, they
are witness to their laughter and chatter, the touch of his fingers
upon the lobes of her ears and her sighs and tears when he goes
and she is alone, perhaps cursed by the spirit of her spinster aunt
until the very last few years at the verge of heaven when their hairs
are as grey as their lips, he falls somewhere in between, and dies

 

Fatima Lasay, San Roque
Tuesday, December 20, 2016

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