Brother has a scar. It takes the shape of Africa on his slim chest.
An accident of childhood, it is the remnant of his claim
to an unobserved tumbler of boiling water at the age of three.
The delicate skin of his left pectoral makes a strange
map. I see the burn-mark now in a picture of us standing
in what was once the sea. We are in Kalatura in an island country
that used to be known in the epics as Lanka—
Ceylon, Serendip, Ilankai a place which glitters.
He is bare-chested and wears a blue towel as a sarong.
I stand shyly, fully clothed. In that moment, the sky, the sea, the clouds
stand boastful in various shades of indigo. Except for the moon
(which may in fact be the sun) that glows the colour of coral
portents of a world that no longer exists following a wave
that reached the innards of the land. A fisherman stands
in the background next to stilts. They are, I imagine, the inspiration
for Calder and Miro. There is a myth on the island in which
such men sailed to Antarctica to hunt for blue whales.
I picture their faces wet and gleeful 7,156 miles from home.
The mark on brother’s chest faded as he grew into adolescence.
I think of him now as a young man walking to work
under a once-autumnal shade, holding the hands of a beloved.
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