Why is it that I think of you
when I’m scraping out the sink-strainer,
digging with my first three fingers in the bits of pasta,
cabbage, namelessness,
scooping them into the compost?

We can dream only what we know.
In my dreams you are not always friendly
but you’re never a threat
in my dreams.
In my dreams
never once have you kissed me
or shown affection.
Why is it that I dream of you?

When I thump a cockroach flat
with my bare fist, compost it, wash
the death-place and my hands most carefully
with hot water and ‘Earth Choice’ detergent,
cooling the water in a five-litre bucket
to pour on the earth at the base of a plant,

I think of you: you
not thinking of me
in my green-flowered apron that belonged to someone’s granny
with my fingers in the sink-strainer probing for scraps: input
to feed, foster, facilitate the growth
of something tall, tasty, well-researched,
catalogued, categorised, annotated,

with names and names and names and names.

(First published in Creatrix)