TIMOR

Over flagstones riven
By roots of ancient figs
Sudden night and the sea
Crawl across the decaying waterfront
Seep into the bar.

The red dressed woman
And the unshaven man
Sit apart and solitary
He sips his beer, she sucks her cigarette
The barman polishes a glass.

How are you called
The man says.
Alma the woman sighs
And slides off her stool and leaves
Trailing musk and mimosa.

The man peels a note
From a dirty bill fold
Places it on the bar
And follows leaving a beaded glass
On a sodden beer mat.

She turns, black hair swirling
He stops an eyebrow raised
With pursed mouth she rolls her tongue
Then spits on fallen fig leaves
Walks on, hips shifting under silk.

He shrugs turns seawards
Head lifted sniffs the tideline’s rot
Watches oily ripples
Suck through corroded bones
Of long-beached vessels.