The veins on the earth are the palms of your hands, and our fists still turn into themselves like when we were babies.  
All life long, clay by the river moves us
the way music moves us, and we are carried.
All life long, water and feather ask us to dance.
Soot and gravel and oil is what we are, and it falls off of my knees when I get up from praying for you.
I leave what’s left on my skin where it’s at.

Lemon Juice & Papaya

Lemon Juice & Papaya

<Published in Hawai’i Pacific University’s Wanderlust October 2009>

Tall sticky grass whipped away at our skin.
We kept running through thickets knowing,
not thinking about what we wanted.
People shook their heads,
Nah beb no be shame, fuck um.
Ok you pull them off and I’ll catch.
We still just took what we needed, taught each other how
the green fruit sat under the window
everyday, almost ready,
tie-dyed orange and yellow. Then
slicing through pudding,
the tiny slippery dark seeds were
nestled like fish eggs.
Mouth watering, we took in
the pungent sweet scent.
A subtle juicy tartness, but you
liked yours with a little more zing,
lemon juice.
Ho beb you gotta try um l’ dis.
So I did,
still do.

When was the last time you had anything like that?
Waves are knocking on walls of rocks I cannot see
under my feet, and your laugh
vibrates my head, as your own
sun brown gold cheeks lift
around a cloud-white smile. Then all
I taste in my eyes,
throat, heart, tongue,
is salt.