winter monsoon, Bangkok, 2020

in Bangkok students amass
asking after the disappeared

in the shade of a banyan tree
cut in half,
in a diary
twisting sugar with ink
a seer wonders how to speak
of what she has embroidered

of a night world
of frangipani floating
in a sequence of thoughts
wondering how many baht
for sticky rice and som tam*
at the temple

that is where it took her

we didn’t have rain this season
she wept into pots
where she grew herbs
to garnish breakfasts

to be mindful
of precious disappearing words
to become
precious disappearing thoughts
after the outpour
of the previous winter monsoon

* a Thai dish of papaya salad


Rowena Joy Newman
has an MA in Literature from Sussex University. She tweets at @reconditematter.