Lebanon, a sensitive, observant man, began to notice subtle changes in Lita, his wife of 30 years. Her smile was not as bright when she greeted him after he’d labored 12 hours a day at the fish market. Her eyes did not hold his as long after they made love. Her consistent timetable shopping trips became random. He knew something was amiss.
Then he began to smell it – the cinnamon. Once he did, he couldn’t avoid it.
Lebanon pretended to go to work one morning, as usual. He hid around the corner and waited. The cinnamon peeler arrived. There was no knock. He emerged an hour later.
Lebanon got his affairs in order. Next Sunday morning he walked to the cinnamon peeler’s house.
Lita smiled and drank her morning coffee – when far away an interrupted cry.
Please note: this prosery is in homage to Michael Ondaatje’s wonderful poem, The Cinnamon Peeler – with a twist.
The Cinnamon Peeler
If I were a cinnamon peeler
I would ride your bed
and leave the yellow bark dust
on your pillow.
Your breasts and shoulders would reek
you could never walk through markets
without the profession of my fingers
floating over you. The blind would
stumble certain of whom they approached
though you might bathe
under rain gutters, monsoon.
Here on the upper thigh
at this smooth pasture
neighbour to your hair
or the crease
that cuts your back. This ankle.
You will be known among strangers
as the cinnamon peeler’s wife.
I could hardly glance at you
never touch you
– your keen nosed mother, your rough brothers.
I buried my hands
in saffron, disguised them
over smoking tar,
helped the honey gatherers . . .
When we swam once
I touched you in water
and our bodies remained free,
you could hold me and be blind of smell.
You climbed the bank and said
this is how you touch other women
the grass cutter’s wife, the lime burner’s daughter.
And you searched your arms
for the missing perfume
what good is it
to be the lime burner’s daughter
left with no trace
as if not spoken to in the act of love
as if wounded without the pleasure of a scar.
your belly to my hands
in the dry air and said
I am the cinnamon
peeler’s wife. Smell me.
Bjorn is the host of dVerse today and is introducing a new challenge for us, the Prosery. Bjorn says: Write me a story using maximum 144 words that has to include the following line:
When far away an interrupted cry
taken from the poem acquainted with the night by Robert Frost.