"Dentonia" by Cynthia James


Maybe I’ll learn to love here where
they don’t know a cold Carib is to die for;
where people don’t love like in a brighter sun
those they love ‘beat under love’
and love to death themselves and those they love -
it’s June; the stone- washed denim sky’s the same,
 roiled at cuffs; eyelet holed skyscrapers stand
tall, stick men wearing dark shades in the evening
sun beyond the baseball red brick diamond;
but a couple kissing in a street of riot

deepens faith in love amid a city’s loss,
here in Dentonia, too, among the astral yellow dandelion
weeds:  for just as many spent, a cloudy intertwining helix
spiked and seamed with DNA disperses promise
for the bissextile and even the year after:
an eternity of love. Yet flame-torched eyelids
shutter-less travelling slits, singed plucked chicken,
bare of all fine hairs and yellow skin, stand guard,
slumber-less; willing to shut out spit and sizzle -
coz every time he comes, my Saga Boy, his smile deflowers;

even when he screws the can, his Bitch, Tan-Tan can’t even run;
“Don’t light me up again ... Please ... Please...”
 ...aspergent splash ... match scratch ... Boom!
-          yolk ringed in white lace bubbles rippling in a pan of butter
pumiced flesh in heavy metal acid wash -
yet in this refuge far removed from Mango Bascapool, Doux Doux Darling,
and YES! Tabanca, love perchance again will come
in this white desert, this weedy astral dandelion patch,
eyes wide open in a whirlpool haze of summer
amid shade trees I cannot name nor claim,
(but does that really matter?)

About Cynthia James

Cynthia James is a Trinidadian, living for the past 3 years in Toronto. She writes poetry and fiction and her work can be found in publications such as Callaloo, Caribbean Writer and The Oxford Book of Caribbean Verse.


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