Saturday, October 17, 2009


Before you loved me,
we played Scrabble in Dainohara Park
beside a small lake covered in lily pads.

I take ages on my turn, calculating,
and catch you staring out over the water,
hands clasped around the lingering warmth
of your vending machine Royal Milk Tea.

I lay down the tiles for “SPARKLE.” Seven letters.
“Impressive,” you mutter, and grinning
I wrestle new letters from the bag.

Our hands pass more rapidly
over the board. You set M beside E.
and I put U beside versatile S
until there are no words left
and the afternoon has faded into night.

It is the first time I beat you.

Later, we search for fireflies in the darkness
and find them, like shooting stars.
We tread off the lit paths and cast
our bodies into one another – in a gazebo,
against the cold painted steel of a playground slide,
tangled in a tire swing dangling from an old pine.

I think you love me then.

Aiko Harman