“Enchant me then, rabble…”
~ Tomaž Šalamun
The harp in the center of the living room,
meant to reflect the shimmer of wind.
Seamed overlap of scalloped shells
that skirt the length of walls.
Under every cane-striped lounging chair,
a sepia-stained chamberpot.
Fleur-de-lis, geometry of sunken shapes: fine
debris of sweets and dust in ancient cookie stamps.
Lace the color of old tea. Swirled wood
that holds the secrets of four-posters.
Slippers of brocade, rows of glass
atomizers on the night-stand.
In the cool, high-ceilinged toilet, a two-
seater commode gives proof of their intimacy.
Beneath the balcony, frogs lisp on the cistern’s
mossy lip: water source, hiding place, route to escape.
~ middle class, colonial Filipino house, c. 1850