From Huawa To Toni
On one hand hope grows like a rose on soft-sand beach,
on the other is a lighthouse. I will lose my life if I don’t mix
my identity with the soil of my homeland and those from
the Archipelago or be led by the mulattoes. To kiss a hybrid
is to live. To live is to walk, run, fly or swim. Not only love
is survival. Not only ships float on water. Dreams do.
I stand before a continent that has been inviting me
for a feast of global intersections. My father needed a
Caucasian, so I became a Negro. The veins do not give up on
the blood, they both surge forward, go round the nations
in wheels and chains of a common wealth. You don’t need
transfusion or plastics to be a woman, says the Catalan
surgeon who is waiting for me at the white side of the gulf.
I am not a girl anymore when I cross the Mediterranean Sea.
And Chloe waves her goodbye with the middle finger, standing
on the bay that stretches Africa from the Thames
to the Caribbean islands.
After Derek Walcott
It’s not yet December, and the girl for Omeros
is singing the Noel with guitars, flowers and half
of a trembling soprano, unsure of its body and soul.
The music is a stuttering mix of two countries, one
for a baby, the other for a mother and child of a drag.
Sybil watches as you transit the 240-270th degrees
of the zodiac. The boat you wanted was happiness,
the Archer or Christmas Cross cruising the sea,
full of your father. She cannot unmake the prophecy,
still, your death, she told us,
will not affect the movement of the home-stars.
From Anonymous In Paris
And this she writes to Sartre.
It’s the dance of a coquette, Paris is;
the dance of a coquette, and young,
young are the fireflies or lights
of the Eiffel that rise in moonflight,
separating the colors of the Seine
from the Congo.
"How do I bathe in two rivers without swimming in both?"
I ask Sartre. "Have you seen a confluence, or have you seen me?"
I can only, and always take you to the door,
to read you light after light, life by life,
where the moon falls; it’s all the light I have
for my camera obscura. So how dark is a confluence,
And after the death of Hauwa,
New York City woos my girlfriend.
I write to a brother under the faint color
of two candle lights.
She came parroting when the city showed her
what she will look like in Ed Hardy shirts
and Low-slung jeans at the Lambs Club.
Efik girl who looked for her inner sex in red lights,
urban jazz, maotai, and Korean power.
She is loved by Gangs and Money, two lights,
one to illuminate my broken heart.
An old philosopher is making tea for me.
There’s the green need to console a Nigerian lover.
With the other, shall I kill myself or drink coffee?