Walter’s lips are in continuous motion
his mouth is full of bright ideas
and his wife’s kisses.
He is working two jobs now
saving money to take his fat wife to Lagos
to dance the Nigerian Afro-beat at The Shrine.
Rain falls like a drum roll
on Walter’s umbrella.
The street—quiet under cloudy skies—
no ice cream truck, no children
no men, no women waiting in shadows.
Bicycles are lying on their pedals.
Walter’s wife is sitting by the window
in a pale yellow light.
She sees something in the emptiness
that Walter cannot feel with one eye blind—
he feels only her absence
and there is not a thing he can do about it.
When he arrives at home
he wraps his dark arms around her
takes his fat wife under the red blanket
where she tells him she too is blind.
Walter whispers that she is softer than her years
that even in the dark her blue eyes follow him.
This makes her laugh at twilight.
Somewhere on a floor above the street
Walter is dusting a feather
across his wife’s chest
and she is singing Fela Kuti’s