Sign up to our mailing list


Sweet by Tayiba Sulaiman

(after Eavan Boland)

Outside the courtroom, the lawyers are amused.
They shred her evenings of breathe-easy laughter.
She thinks of her son’s wheezy chest, of the
kitchen’s rain-racing face-painting window.

He had a balloon someone blew up for him; it rose like
smoke from the chimney. The jingle of his cough said:
in his pocket are eleven pebbles, to line along a
windowsill not yet tethered to the ground.
She stuffed their wet shoes with old newspaper.

If she can’t get him seen, then honey’ll do neatly –
if there’s no buying honey, they’ll have to invent it –
even plain clean water is sweet.


Read about Tayiba

Log In