7 Poems by Sumudu Samarawickrama

By | 1 November 2019

January Monday 19th 2009
(filmed in interior scenes)


White stilettos walk into Miami
Ink and Ami is a Weevil and he knows me
           quiero hacer contigo lo que
           la primavera hace con los cerezos

And he knows and I know
but we don’t acknowledge
We cool at school

I want a tattoo as I slap my book
heavy on the counter
It’s a declaration of work
and a solicitation
He nods but he’s grazing through
the pages and stops on the black dog’s
head on fiery wheels
He whistles for the cameras
It’s all in silhouette

He admires me pushing wetly
at me I look at his eyes
and it’s hard because he is
many and the eyes fluctuate
Then he whistles again
thumb running over the picture
his eyes licking at my body
My body which is never my body

I, the I that dreams feel
silhouetted, it feels nice


Is it yours?                                          Is it mine?

There is broken glass glistening in the cut of his lip                      now

Inside a locked book, pictures
fall about whirring
I am fanned by displacement
and there is too much air

I, the I that dreams, is unsure about whether they are mine            now

He quotes me $5000
Contempt to be
paid under the tablecloth

Inside the locked book the pictures
are thinner than mine
My dogs have teeth

My flames have teeth too


Time and dream are woven into a rug
I travel along into the making

the shading the bleeding the loving

it is mine and it always was

now my eyes glint silver in the corners
cold and softened hard yet warm

my flames bite and melt
I am streaming veins of argent

inside a laugh are also teeth

I walk past the locked book and past the thinner things
in my hand is my design as it always was

even the black dog is mine so I turn my wrist
to the sun and see her shadow there


The shoes are too high they drag
on the pavement in a tired

slurp of sound, I focus on heels
and backs and necks and adjust

the percussion back into time but the
street has grown invisible walls and

the clop resounds, bounces around
sound is ostentation and the people

are beginning to turn. Don’t
look at me. White stilettos and pencil

skirt and don’t look. The walk is now,
become classical. I am swimming

through air and this is theatre in the round
There is no pain until I lose

rhythm. A white woman comes to me
She is talking at me about shoes,

me. What are you? The bricks
of buildings gather in her throat

Her eyes reflect like glass which has caught
the sun. She doesn’t understand me

We walk together but she abstracts
How lucky you are where did you get it

There is a sand bank of people
in front with us walking. We are all

walking but they slow me down
She clutches at my sleeve, the fabric

rolling between her thumb and forefinger
When we get to the intersection I say

Get away from me, you bitch
or I’ll fucking end you

The woman squeals into the street and I
continue forward no longer aware

of the clack of stilettos now that my voice reverberates
so. Everyone is adulatory and I stare them

Away as the rain falls torrentially upon us
Don Cheadle says we should turn back

and I say Yes, brilliant and they
turn. And I don’t


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