Rumourmongers mulling made
The tale of a young assassin,
An absence of her earthly shape
And modern myths are pregnant.
She was aged twenty, and opaque,
Relatively young for assassins;
Though death rarely discriminates
Say politicians in this republic.
She wore a fine cheongsam
In red and golden fabrics,
Tasselled sleeves, I grappled
With the luxuries of Jungian
Interpretations for the lyric-dreams
Sown by an unfamiliar seaside seamstress.
She murdered her elderly grandmother
My mind’s street-peddlars reported,
(She killed men they said with just bare thighs,
Evaded detectives, and had them extorted),
Seven days before my task was fixed
To retrieve her missing earrings.
These opulent heirlooms had been lost
Mid-mission, in a Chinese restaurant’s
Red carpet, the deepest red I’d ever seen,
Like clotted blood from the neck
Of a dead Tragopan fed on Indian tulips
Stored in a rusty soup tureen.
The Dim Sum and Moo Shu pancakes
Were all covered with bamboo lids
Like the lids of braziers or buckets;
I examined the guts of Bombay Ducks,
While my accomplice found his own earrings
He too had lost, and turned to me to say
‘You know it’s a fish, the Bombay duck?’
Returning home, my daughters
Were playing in the hallway
And I was exhausted of my last luck;
The letterbox had lost its sleeve
And they could see me looking in
And reached towards me, but we
Could neither touch nor hold on to love.
Life would sound like something worthy of living
If I’d found her jewels in the carpet,
But living seems like something else,
And I am back to where I started.