Gardens are consoling for those souls who swallow sorrow like a cup of bitter coffee with no sugar to be had,
though Doctor Windmollen could add some,
if he chose to;
predisposed to,
on behalf of her whose taste for
kopi susu kental manis
has,
in everyone's opinion,
(barring his, that is)
elapsed.

A fragile hankering persists,
 though,
not insistent,
but suggesting,
(via ultrasonic pulses both delivered and received)
that should he mix
(with daily doses of the moisture shed in memory)
just a drop of sweetened coffee,
every morning,
it would please,
persuading Poppie to perform,
despite Bi Mun's unspoken censure,
an elaborate sort of ceremony,
solo,
in
The Lab.

Which is a greenhouse now exclusively,
plants reclusively attended by the man in mourning,
adding to his pair of grief-filled vials
a single dollop of condensed milk coffee Luak -
left vial only,
since its solemn dedication to his vastly altered child,
which he then pours upon the plot containing
two
herbaceous life forms,
dousing equally Rafflesia and the blade of grass beside,
their huge disparity, as to size, of less significance
than proximity,
mother's blossom-bound memorial
 juxtaposed to daughter's plight.

The squirrelly cause of which is back at large,
released from dual captivity;
Ade Oya
(now reverted,
his descent from genius steep,
his brain short-circuited,
fuses blown,
and otherwise shell-shocked back to squirrel-dom)
has been given leave to take his leave
(as has the whole menagerie)
and elected to extend his freedom none too far afield.

Hence his arrival on an overhanging vine
above
The Ritual,

(which his oh-so-humble rodent wits are clueless to perceive,
aware of little more than motion,
in the area just below him,
unconcerned because it represents neither food
nor mortal threat,
(unlike that pair of human beings who sometimes stalk,
with ill-intentions,
whose mere scent compels the skittish squirrel
to scramble up a tree,
if knowing nil about the Bugis' yen for vengeance,
Hamid's violence,
or the duo's self-reproach
cum inborn bloodlust,
Dede's lead
ineptly followed by his lackey bent on malice
bent on justice
for the reconfigured Vina).

Who is conscious,
(if aggrieved)
retaining sentience after sentenced
to eternal implantation,
wide awake,
she still can think,
while
fast asleep,
she still can dream,
her tear-fed bed
the site
each night
of
the
self-same
vision.
*

*