• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 05


In memory of Eduardo Galeano

How many years ago did I ask her this:
is love only truly expressed through action?
I was then a monkey. She was a hound,

not the least bit inclined to agree with me,
rather talking of mercy, then of charity,
how such things fall naturally from above,

quite unwilled—yet here I can find no crab,
no lobster dished up on tilting plates,
no cooked ham, baskets of blackberries,

red- or black-currants, no red and white grapes
with the bloom, untouched, still upon them,
but piles of tins of tuna chunks in oil,

pasta pre-wrapped in plastic, the red caps
of peanut butter jars, stacked jars of jam.
She’s the hound still. I am yet the monkey,

crying ‘solidarity’ to her shower of mercy
(she bares her teeth, scratches her rump).
I say: I’ve lots to learn from other people,

so it’s good that hundreds of hungry faces
queue each week outside these doors,
that the monkey’s mission—as for teachers,



as for poets—is to work towards a world
in which they no longer need to exist:
the want of food, or love, or neighbourliness.