Sunday Songs: The Cinnamon Peeler

If I were a cinnamon peeler
I would ride your bed
and leave the yellow bark dust
on your pillow.

Your breasts and shoulders would reek
you could never walk through markets
without the profession of my fingers
floating over you. The blind would
stumble certain of whom they approached
though you might bathe
under rain gutters, monsoon.

Here on the upper thigh
at this smooth pasture
neighbor to your hair
or the crease
that cuts your back. This ankle.
You will be known among strangers
as the cinnamon peeler’s wife.

I could hardly glance at you
before marriage
never touch you
— your keen nosed mother, your rough brothers.
I buried my hands
in saffron, disguised them
over smoking tar,
helped the honey gatherers…

When we swam once
I touched you in water
and our bodies remained free,
you could hold me and be blind of smell.
You climbed the bank and said

this is how you touch other women
the grasscutter’s wife, the lime burner’s daughter.
And you searched your arms
for the missing perfume.
and knew
what good is it
to be the lime burner’s daughter
left with no trace
as if not spoken to in an act of love
as if wounded without the pleasure of scar.

You touched
your belly to my hands
in the dry air and said
I am the cinnamon
peeler’s wife. Smell me.

– Michael Ondaatje

 

I know, I know it’s been absolute ages since I’ve done a Sunday Songs. I love how sensuous this poem is and Michael Ondaatje is Canadian so I guess my homesickness is subconsciously making its way into the blog. Also, I just received the most thoughtful care package from my boyfriend so I posted up this poem because its boldness of love and desire.

So far on exchange I’ve been to Port Meirion and York (I’m in Warsaw now) so here are just a few snap shots from my small trips! First up is from Port Meirion:

IMG_5784IMG_5785IMG_5807IMG_5809IMG_5873IMG_5823IMG_5869IMG_5895And here is York:

IMG_6062IMG_6074IMG_6089IMG_6091IMG_6136IMG_6160IMG_6154IMG_6164Of course, I finish off with my absolute favourite: scones!!

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1 comment
  1. Funny poem. Feel sad for the wife though haha

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