I miss the lattice work of
sea foam on sand
and the way the ripe
Bombay mangoes blush
only on one side.
I see it all now in the reflection
of giant icicles forming
in my window frame
Save me a bowl of stewed jimbilin
when I can come back
stiff bristles surrender
moving the paint across the starkness,
spreading your blood stains
in bright red strokes
not at all like poinsettia blossoms I used to gather
safe in the countryside
away from asphalt and sirens
and uniformed gunmen
who fear only your sweet, dark face.
With linked fingers, we were children again
splashing through puddles,
reveling in the downpour,
forgetting the year of our forced separation
in that prison of silverware, manicured lawns,
Laughing, we scurried across the slick, red earth,
passed zinc-fenced tenements, tamarind trees,
roaming goats and mongrels.
Drenched, I kissed you along the uneven path,
with potholes full now
Wandeka Gayle is a 2015 Callaloo fellow and a 2016 Kimbilio Fiction fellow, whose creative writing and research focuses on the experiences of Afro-Caribbean immigrants living in England and America and Caribbean nationals at home. She received her PhD in English, with a concentration in Creative Writing (Fiction) from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in May 2018. She is a visual artist and former journalist from Jamaica who received her MA in English from Andrews University. Her writing has appeared in the Life-Info Magazine, Susumba, Spectrum, Rigorous, PastTen, the Sunday Gleaner and aaduna.