23 January 2012

He folded his belongings in the tangerine sunset – Meryl Perez

He folded his belongings in the tangerine sunset by Meryl Perez (20)

My grandfather had fat calluses on his fingers

and toes.

His hands flexed into a skeleton of veins

that were verdigris

on his brass skin.

He would wake up before the sun could tan the streets

and would split the bursting seam of the horizon

with his fingertips.

The morning things knew him:

his thud of foot,

his clockwork of bones

on its post-apocalyptic calm.

By noon he was a power station.

He would double up over the bonnet of his car

strumming the interstices of wirings

and twitching bolts,

and tuning the gyrations

of the engine





For a living

he oversaw arteries of blue prints –

trading in the currency of currents, the jolts of volts,

the buzz and whirr of machinery.

And when it was over,

He neatly folded his limp belongings in a chest

By the tangerine sunset.

In death,

he was a patchwork

of swollen eyes,

sewn eyebrows,

cut lip,

shrivelled feet, hushed hands

rolled in a flap of dirt

one violet dusk.

I imagine those calluses are no more.

His knuckles

Now stubborn bones. His brass skin

Now taut hide. His thud of foot

Absent in the dawn.

His heart

A dry prune

In an empty ribcage.

I imagine

His blueprints have since


Like autumn leaves.

And his granddaughter is all grown up now.