Simone Kaho

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it looks like every branch stretched across the fence has a noose hanging off it   but it's just shadows   heavy leaves looping slim twigs under their weight   we sit in the courtyard sipping spirits from tin lids   listening to aunties gossip about whether his head has been embalmed   like their long dead palangi husbands   should one of us say something   say   he was so young   say   don’t talk about his head he’s upstairs   not even buried yet   say   let’s talk about his heart and whether that was embalmed   say   he should be down here with us   sipping spirits at your funerals

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