Concepts of home

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Concepts of home

Post by admin » Sat Mar 25, 2006 1:08 pm

Concepts of home

i just left it
lying there on the table at esspresso cafe
a cup lined with fizzzzless foam
pressing the pages down
pressing to keep them down to keep them closed
so grandmere doesn't see them
if my grandmere ever read these words
echoing screams of Kundera's post-mid-life crisis
she would have raised her eyebrows
lowered her head rolled her eyes
stupe real loud and with swaying hips of her womanly form
she would have walked away
with a bad taste in her mouth
that's my critique of Immortality

i remember knees rubbing as i tried to outrun
katia who was always the fastest
she was even faster than djeanane who was taller than all of us
blue/white checked pleated skirt twirls when i spin
flies when i jump
trying to reach extended branches
that were closer to the sky than they were to my head
i remember us collecting rocks that i held onto tightly within closed fists
I remember running on paved sidewalks
passing the Cabane Choucoune
Le Petit Chaperon Rouge

on our way home we would stop at a pye zanmann
look for the yellowish orange ones the ripe ones
we'd throw rocks like boys at the zanmann until we knocked them onto the ground
we would wipe them off our uniforms and stuff them into our mouths
biting away flesh that was barely ripe for eating but soft enough to let spots
of juice seep through leaving tongues tasting of sour
we weren't suppose to keyi zanmann on that street or on any street
where we would be seen acting like ti moun san fanmi ti moun san manman
my mother never knew we did that
unless we bit intoone that was so green
that we had to spit it out quickly
carelessly letting it stain our clothes
when i was in jamaica this summer
i ate breadfruit and saltfishi
i ate bonbonsiro
i cooked like mother or ivela would
i never measure anything
I cook like that
because that's just the way us women at rue duarguin no. 8 cooked

at Dragon's bay villa
i skipped about in my yellow flowered dress
the blue bay
the escovitched fish
small strips of kanin a plastic bag tied with a twist for the tourist price of 30 J
the smell of and the taste of blue mountain coffee with carnation evaporated milk
to which i'd add spoonfuls of brown sugar
brown sugar that i'd have to demand
because raw sugar has no place on tables in hotels
it is colored
raw sugar has no place on tables in hotels
because it is not refined
it wasn't processed in britain or in the united states
lean dark waiters in white shirts and red vests serving
uptight white american tourists who want eggs overeasy
instead of ackee and saltfish for breakfast
who sit under the almond tree
my almond tree by the bar drinking rum punches
the almond tree overlooking the bay
the almond that i wanted to climb
i jumped trying to catch extended branches
jumped again
my dress
rides up
glimpses of the
eternal thigh
up
again
i lost my balance
i lost my shame
as i jumped up again over and over again
trying to grab arching branches with almonds
that have not seen me for fifteen years
i didn't even check to see if they were yellowish gold or even close
that wasn't the point
no i had to knock them down from the tree
wipe them off my bathing suit sink my teeth into them as soon
as i possessed them
as soon as i had them in my hand without wasting a moment
but they fell on the sand
i didn't even wipe them
i bit right into them one at a time because i had to
i had to
because they reminded me of the place where i came from
this place- a country- my country-a man
the zanmann reminded me of this man with whom i share a torrid love
a man that didn't like women
that smothered children before they were born because
in their mother's belly they promised
they'd have too much fire in their soul
they were black he knew they'd all be blakk he knew they were all blakk
and they promised they'd want to be free
and they promised they'd fight to stay free
because they were blakk
and he knew they knew what would happen
and he knew they knew what would happen what always happens
he knew they knew they couldn't be french
because they only speak kreyol
the knew they knew they couldn't be french
pase se moun endeyo yo ye
the zanmann reminded me of this man that i haven't gone back to
that i can't go back to
that i don't want to go back to yet
that i don't want to see so t o r n
bleeding
because i don't want to believe that ayiti can
bleed
that ayiti is bleeding
i don't want to see
i don't want to see
her
bleed
ing
but it's always been--
he said
high suicide
alcohol ism
family
violence
rapesrepeatedrapesofbabieschildrengirlswomenladiesgirlswomenviolenceagainstwomen
blood has been
shedding in
south africa
black blood
colored blood
blood
a lot of pnp and jlp blood

red has always been the color of the blood that has c o l o u r e d
south africa

how do you call a place home that doesn't allow you to forget
how do you call a place home that tears you inside out
that makes you wish you could not feel
that makes you wish you could not think
that makes you wish you could not see
that makes you wish you could not remember
horror that has become an everyday commodity
a place that keeps bleeding
that keeps bleeding even after operation restore democracy
that will continue to bleed until
until theres' no trenchtown
until there's no lost city no sun city
until there's no white power center
until there's no whites only signs in children's minds
until there's no whites only signs in children's hearts
until the colored are free
until white people are free
until black people are free
But it keeps bleeding
but we can't make it stop
or can we
you can't make it stop
or can you
do you turn away wallowing in guilt
delving deeper into a forgiveness that doesn't exist
a forgiveness that ceased to exist
a forgiveness that will never exist
there's blood too much blood in south africa and it's spilling over
there's blood too much blood in south africa and it's spilling over
blood is spilling over on necklaces
blood is spilling over in cite soleil
blood is spilling over in garrisons
red is the color of the blood spilling over from makeshifts boats in the caribbean sea
there 's too much blood on this country that i love
this country that won't let children live
that kills them in their mother's womb
so women now give birth to
stillborns
how do you keep yourself
how do you keep yourself from wanting to touch
from wanting to smell
from wanting to be
from wanting to feel
to find a peace that ceased to exist
to find a peace that never existed
to find a peace that will never exist
to stop looking to stop looking for something
to stop looking to stop looking for anything
to stop looking to stop looking
so you can
find

© Gina Ulysse

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