Grace or Trial

by Ellora Sutton

after ‘Quiet People’ by Moniza Alvi

His wife and I are peaceful people

but that does not say
it is rare.

We swing
thunderstorms between us,

split budding fruit
from budding branches,

share lipsticks
like domino masks.

She is quietly excited,
a great composer

in full swell,
full crescendo or blooming.

We have our signs –

wide open window,
ajar garden door,

a sheet spread
over the flowerbeds.

I listen through the neighbours
mowing their yellow lawns

for our promise –

by grace or trial,
send a clear note

like cutting

with ivory or air,

her own
wild fingers,

her own
tangled hair,

laying it

at my feet.