by Dionne Brand








So the street is still there, still melting with sun


still the shining waves of heat at one o’clock


the eyelashes scorched, staring the distance of the


park to the parade stand, still razor grass burnt and

cropped, everything made indistinguishable from dirt


by age and custom, white washed, and the people…


still I suppose the scorpion orchid by the road, that


fine red tongue of flamboyant and orange lips


muzzling the air, that green plum turning fat and


crimson, still the crazy bougainvillea fancying and


nettling itself purple, pink, red, white, still the trickle of


sweat and cold flush of heat raising the smell of


cotton and skin… still the dank rank of breadfruit milk,


their bash and rain on steps, still the bridge this side


the sea that side, the rotting ship barnacle eaten still


the butcher’s blood staining the walls of the market,


the ascent of hills, stony and breathless, the dry


yellow patches of earth still threaten to swamp at the


next deluge… so the road, that stretch of sand and


pitch struggling up, glimpses sea, village, earth


bare-footed hot, women worried, still the faces,


masked in sweat and sweetness, still the eyes


watery, ancient, still the hard, distinct, brittle smell of