Signs

My flapping hands Freudian-slip, or whatever
the equivalent is and she cracks up.
(Still can’t get the hang of this lark).

The carriage clatters with her
primal laugh, her primate laugh.
Her retarded laugh.

She signs: Busy day?
I rock my hand from side to side.
I sign: You?
She weaves a reply

like tumbleweed after a bad joke,
as the commuters cough and rustle
their papers and don’t look.

She signs: I love conducting you
She signs: my symphony

and laughs again and I know
my reddening cheeks and derailed gaze
are signs, shouting at her

louder than voices.


(One of three poems published in Haque magazine.)