NYU Black Renaissance Noire Spring 2015 - Page 156

By COLIN CHANNER IN YOUR DREAMS AT LEAST You sit beside your husband in the Dettol-smelling ward. Half listen while he slurs in dream fever. Hatted nurses drowse about. Same damn arm closed up and opened half a dozen times and still stiff, but stiff now with a shift in color, hue change and — Oh rass! — goo trickle, worst of all a feint unfurling of a graphic odour, almonds, signal that a limb must be removed. Through the window, trees and roofs are getting graced by bird shadow. Streets repeat the sign of the cross. But you see none of this for what it is to optimists. You, pragmatic girl who came to town to be a druggist, are no longer in this now, but off reckoning with Big Master in a concocted tense, the certain future possible, the what must be, imagining a face, hearing a voice, English with a local tingeing — Golding, orthopaedic legend of the polio epidemic and Her Maj’s royal army corps. 154 Weeks later, while the frigger heals from Golding’s genius, you, a twentysomething version of my mother, feed my sister from a bottle while obsessing on the bitch who winged your husband, begrudging, wanting the wanton’s life. Not all of it. A spec of it. The sec she latched on good and got the married liard — jooking, then jerking to uncatch her pick from bone. BRN-SPRING-2015.indb 154 Still, at weird moments, say before you funnel bulk emulsion into vials, you’ll catch yourself reflecting on the times you see the retrofitted fucker nurse Claudette, your infant, how he sets his bad hand on the table, pulls each budded finger to conform a grip around the ribbed warm bottle. How he drizzles in the creamy O-Lac with his left hand like a native, blabba-dabbing with the baby like a bloody idiot when he’s back to being a cop. And every time you think of this a tremor triggers in your womb. But at night you tug o’ war with anger, fret on ethics, think of how, plot in that concocted tense of yours — the certain future possible, imagine making traceless toxins, choking bitches long distance. No prison! No proof! — but always, always, this dark vision disappears when you hear your husband’s sleeve in rustle, right arm self-exhuming right hand resurrecting warm and vimful from linen — in your dreams at least. As louvres frill salt wind across your silver nightie, you turn inside yourself as long fingers take the measure of your body, its curves, and it’s love as it was, or might have been — you double think — when you first moved in to settle in that one room start up off the back porch of that old green house just up from Bournemouth Gardens where in courting days your husband used to make a W with his arms across your scapulas and waltz you back and forth and round and round to Cuban ballads on the deck beside the sea, your dar