Ghazal of Guyana

Do you see? The bones of stars are falling,
crashing to the earth like trees, like greyed spears

again I find myself amidst a frieze of bodies
lost in our commune of ritual sweat

a hurricane is spinning Saharan
winds through the constellation of islands

they whisper my name from the muddy rows
of cane, reminding me, the flesh is sin

the trees ache in the light, their ashen limbs
a warning to birds: do not alight here

this tree which is not a way of breathing
of keeping your head above whipping waves

we praise in spit and surf to our God
but not to this sea which is everything

until I can not help but think that I
am again: a flesh and blood poetry

my sister can remember how to make
baigan, blistering bulbs on splitting flames

on the Parika bank of the river
a boy sells water out of a rice sack

in my office sits a stoic Ganesh
intricately carved out of fiberglass.

From Make Us All Islands. Reproduced by kind permission of Shearsman Books

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