Poems by Wandeka Gayle


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

like bars.

Save me a bowl of stewed jimbilin

for time

when I can come back






In Remembrance

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,
and silence.

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
with rainwater.

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.