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Kay-Ann Sep 8
In a quaint town in St. Mary,
I spotted an old lady with a kaleidoscope tied around
her waist and falling to her ankles
selling mangoes.
Behind her were strokes of shades of blue, white,
beige and seaweed-green--- this was not the place I
planted my umbilical cord. One minute, I stood on
the tip of my toe, body and left foot firmly in Kingston.
The next, I extended my right and reached across the
island. City chatter evaporated into seawater and mosquitos.
The potholes and gullies that hold water like soup stayed.
I stepped out of the vehicle, onto the new asphalt, never
taking my eyes off the gold, but the sound of a gunshot
stopped me. Nanny appeared; dark linens draped all over her
temples and torso, gold bullet lodged between shining teeth
that hinged on black gums.
Where do you think you’re going? Night will break but there
will still be cranes in the sky.

She sounded like my grandmother, but I didn’t feel like listening.
I continued on my path
to the orange-yellow mounds
but fell into a round
hole. Down there, I saw Bogle, a preteen being *****,
Tupac and lots of duppies. My hands
became bloodstained from fresh slits on my arms. The
heat from five hundred thousand eyes made my palms wet.
A white witch, the one from Rose Hall, started singing.
She knocked back two shots of vinegar and *****.
One for health and one for strength she said. Then, a shadow
offered the potion to me. I chugged it and came back to life.
It tasted like blood and sweat.
Why did I even bother doing my makeup?
Black eyeliner, now smudged, guarded my eyes,
keeping a pool of tears in its place. Fenty foundation,
running and brown like me. The mountain of orange-
yellows, reds and greens loomed before my tired eyes
like future skyscrapers. The woman was hidden by it
but I still could still feel her smile.
How much?
For you, free.
As I unmounted the mountain into my bag, the woman
was revealed to be me.
Kay-Ann Sep 5
In a crocus bag, I remembered home.

The familiar flush of a Saturday’s work
we would fry some green plantains
and head to town.
Women with long, billowy skirts and red handkerchiefs wrapped around their heads line the street.
Some pumpkin, cho-cho, a bag of pimento seeds
carrots, Irish potatoes, scallion and a piece of thyme are bought
The threaded lines of blood, sweat and tears
bring home a bowl.

When there is no water to fill our basins and buckets,
we get up before the roosters.
To bathe, drink, wash, live
the assorted empty plastic containers get acquainted in the bag
on their way to the pipe.

A tablespoon of sugar for my fever grass tea
The zinc fence that cut a portal on my leg
A sip of Saturday’s soup
A container for other containers.
Kay-Ann Aug 26
I am chasing this thing that
always
eludes me. In the day he openly
embraces Man.
See, they’ve known each other for centuries,
shoulder to shoulder,
unrelenting hand in unrelenting hand
as they dance betwixt the world of fantasy and pain.
A universe I know all too well.
A courtesy we could never have.

Matta still in my eyes, limbs sore from just being born,
naivete radiating from my skin.
I trail, inquire, plead—
he laughs in my face before evaporating
observe.

I have a plan.

I could forfeit my mind, let ambition and sense
seethe through my temples. Knees the color of
my behind from crawling through the mud.
Pungent fertilizer gathering underneath my nails
as I plant hibiscus, mint and poinciana in a Man’s
garden. My body falling apart and together at the
calloused hands of my oppressor.

There must be another way.

I turned to the sky,
they know us Women well.

Every thirty moons, I offer up a sacrifice.
Take this crimson sea between my anchors
that Mother ordained.
Take it and give us strength.

He eludes me still.

I fight and I protest
and I bawl and I break down
and I stand up and I smile
and I make love to anyone capable of loving.
I am still searching.
Tactile, hard and brown like an egg’s shell
you can’t see this soft, permeable mass
yet it lives, survives.
*But the chase is over.
Kay-Ann Sep 2018
I think God is calling me
Life is much too violent, too fleeting
to be walking without light
but it's not a soothing call
it's not dresses that cover my shoulders and knees
or hymns
or holy communion
It's not Mama waking me up to Milo and crackers
It is a command
that thundered within me
yet I heard it whispering to a part of me that I thought died years ago
A call to order
For me
From me
Kay-Ann Dec 2016
sensitive, soft and ******


vulnerable, violent and ******


radiant, raw and romantic


dazed, dreamy and *delicate
  Nov 2015 Kay-Ann
Amanda
to my mother who never cared

i.  Thank you for becoming the woman
    you promised that you would never
    become.
ii. I never got all my stuff back, and
    I'm starting to lose myself in the
    stuffed animals and photographs
iii. i don't need you
    i don't need you
    i don't need you
iv. dad still cries and so do i but
     it's alright you never loved
     either of us anyways.
v.  thanks for forgetting my birthday
     and Christmas
     and that you gave birth to me
vi. i don't need you
     i don't need you
     i don't need you


     I don't need you.
  Apr 2015 Kay-Ann
Langston Hughes
What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore--
And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?
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