Angel of TobagoA Poem by Solomon
I left Tobago on a gypsy boat: six women
and a barrel full of wine; rock-ginger and
a man with blue eye. The sun made us thirst.
We threw our dresses into the sea.
The man captivated me with his pallid face,
soft, like a monjito soaked in gasoline
trapped inside the woven fingers of a girl
with three matches aflame inside her mouth.
He offered us wine on the third night
during the whitewash moon. I tried to say no,
but the color of his eyes was the most beautiful
I’d ever seen, so I let him wrap me in linens
with my sisters and a song:
Je vous aimerai toujours,
si vous ne m'aimez soir. Chantez,
beautés noires, mes Sirènes, chantez.
We yearned like songbirds with the ruby throated breast of
the Calypso woman with Baby-girl resting on the hip.
He milked my breasts with his calloused hands,
as the boat began to sink.
I awoke to the sound of waves,
on the beach of Blanchisseuse.
Six women and the white man lay
lifeless on the shore, baptized;
their faces buried in the sand.
© 2012 Solomon