Poetry Friday: Cynthia James


Cosmic Molasses
for Stokley 


Horn chile, 
the limer on the corner blew on the furl, 
crushing mica on the pavement, tapping 
PRO-Keds, a mere mockery of a b-boy move.
The young woman walked on without a misstep. 
The baby, faced behind on the mother’s shoulder, 
bobbing, sloe-eyed, the four youth on the low culvert, 
the first interesting things her eyes had lighted on 
since the walk, stared; the curl of honey-spittle dripping 
from her bottom lip, clipped off like an elastic band.

This house lizard need some sunning;
here, take this flannel ball and go play hopscotch 
on the front walk, but stay within my eyesight.
Disingenuous to pretend today I didn’t understand; 
after all, it was the time of Snick and Medgar Evers, 
To Kill a Mocking Bird cliff hangers stoked 
one after another on the Civil Rights timeline;  
sepia-toned, wedge-wood medallion, great-grand-daughter 
of a stolen princess and a drunk madman with marble eyes, 
(so the nansi story goes), is to play with inside ghosts outside;
puzzles forever breaking on the rainbow of conception, 
these goddamn particles, however much you think you know, 
the sex, the weight, the curve beyond the pulsing ultra 
sound, the known unknown, continuing to mesmerize.  

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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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