The World in Sinhalese

by Carl Boon

Recall when you were mesmerized—
a parlor of rococo design, the curves
ascending into hips, rivers
as witnessed from above.

You’d had three martinis
& wine with dinner, many scallions,
& waited for the lines to reconnect.
A girl with alabaster skin,

tattooed, brought Sri Lankan tea
& pastry, & suddenly your hands
began to blossom into webs
as delicate as prayer in rain.

You didn’t want to step away
nor the newly-found to cease;
the girl was an airplane made of lace
& the room grew softly against you—

so softly it seemed your grandmother
listened as you asked for salvation,
& you saw the threads of her blouse
instead of her blouse

& were satisfied. & so it is
to leap into another world, make love
there where the sand’s condemned

to sand, where the dismissal

of fruit foretells an avalanche
so powerful & weird it cannot hurt,
so surrounding & sweet you
could bear to breathe no longer.

Carl Boon is the author of the full-length collection Places & Names: Poems (The Nasiona Press, 2019). His poems have appeared in many journals and magazines, including Prairie Schooner, Posit, and The Maine Review. He received his Ph.D. in Twentieth-Century American Literature from Ohio University in 2007, and currently lives in Izmir, Turkey, where he teaches courses in American culture and literature at Dokuz Eylül University.