Celebrate National Poetry Month with us and enjoy a Poetry Per Diem each day for the month of April!
Today’s poem is from Safiya Sinclair’s book of poems titled Cannibal.
Have I forgotten it –
wild conch-shell dialect,
black apostrophe curled
tight on my tongue?
Or how the Spanish built walls
of broken glass to keep me out
but the Doctor Bird kept chasing
and raking me in: This place
is your place, wreathed in red
Sargassum, ancient driftwood
nursed on the pensive sea.
The ramshackle altar I visited
often, packed full with fish-skull,
bright with lignum vitae plumes:
Father, I have asked so many miracles
of it. To be patient and forgiving,
to be remade for you in some
small wonder. And what a joy
to still believe in anything.
My diction now as straight
as my hair; that stranger we’ve
long stopped searching for.
But if somehow our half-sunken
hearts could answer, I would cup
my mouth in warm bowls
over the earth, and kiss the wet dirt
of home, taste Bogue-mud
and one long orange peel for skin.
I’d open my ear for sugar cane
and long stalks of gungo peas
to climb in. I’d swim the sea
still lapsing in a soldered frame,
the sea that again and again
calls out my name.
This book can be found in the Island Free Library collection, upstairs under call number 811.6 SIN.
Stay tuned for another poem tomorrow!