Margherita / janice pariat

I don’t know what made me stop
buying cigarettes on a hot day
over the odour of summer, too loud
too strong.
Wood? But that lay dying
by the side of the road
waiting to become crystal shelves
and porcelain cupboards.
Fruit was too far away
sweating on a cart,
staining cardboard boxes.
Slowly it crept back
like a frightened swallow.
The smell of grass
freshly mown off the park.
Off a lawn that spread
for miles and miles
and ended in a burst of bougainvillea.
But it came unnoticed, over the river, slipping between the trees.
The blades of grass (and I) are scattered by the wind.

Janice Pariat is ethnically all mixed up: some days Portugal, others Kent, mostly Shillong, India. She studied English Literature at St Stephen’s College, Delhi University and then Communications at Westminster, London, where she spent more time at the Embankment than in class.