the pincushion


Maw Shein Win



someone pushing a table across the floor. crumbling teeth
the mouth. a tiny boy in the dollhouse
he sits at the front of the table. a roasted chicken on his plate
basket of lilies on the floor. a pincushion beside the bed


she glides past him while he sleeps
cloud arms move upwards
she is the brilliant innkeeper
he dreams of a pincushion


look through the keyhole. the star-blood flowers
the heat outside the gates. the soldiers and monks
he sleeps with his mouth open. no sheets
she pricks him with the needle. red glass


leaving the pediment for brighter pastures
the innkeeper hopeless
young wife in the next room
table scraping across the floor