• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 10

Loneliness isn’t just bag-lady feeding pigeons

Ever since she’d seen those chevron roofs poking
into the brick chimney that puffed out smoke
which sky turned into clouds fracturing off the evening light
into terracotta pieces of a cluttered garden that smelled
sweetly of rotting apples   lavender    dew soaked cocoons
little Li had dreamt of being an engineer     An adult now
her own house designed by her architect husband
had only succulent plants in a jungle of polished concrete
brushed steel   glass tops thick as a first aid box
smelling of cool and no secrets      Any of her discreet
manoeuvrers to leave a long ginger hair beneath the heavy leather sofa     
or a sesame seed from the lunch bagel in a corner of the knife drawer    
a microscopic drop of blood beneath the bathroom sink
were wiped away by the cleaner who came Mondays
Wednesdays    Fridays at 7:55am    Li suspected if she’d stay in
on one of those days her soul would come away spotless
sharp as the 3 carat diamond in her wedding ring
The day she was made redundant with a substantial payoff
she enrolled in a postgrad art class without telling her husband
who barely noticed because he was important now
thought her city trips an inevitable part of her thriving career
She was spending days in cheap hostels perfecting designs
evenings looking for the most striking concrete buildings
her last night spraying murals of clouds broken up by longing
The last that was seen of her     a ginger coloured crescent moon
in the sky above her husband’s house     everyone else noticed