As I lay in sand, I become still,
unaware of my own skin against seashells
and of the ocean’s mouth drinking the spaces
between my toes.

I forget the sun’s name; it is fleeting.
It dips behind the waves, hiding from the hills
that wish to consume its light and transform
the island into an endless dark.

From my balcony, I attempt to persuade
the wind. I attempt to become it; volatile,
with a warm insistence.
I have tried to sleep here before.

On the shore, I pick apart leg from arm
but lose my fingertips to sand.
I become undone; unravel first my clothes,
and then my skin.

I consider what I have left behind,
and what I take back with me.
I allow my body the treasure of water,
and with care, I give my heart.

Arrival

St. Lucia is an amazing place. The heat is incredibly intense for us Canadians. It’s funny; last night at dinner I was sitting next to Derek and he turns to me and asks “are you cold?” What a bizarre question! How on earth could anyone be cold! Turns out, we were directly under a fan, and he WAS. Hard to believe how differently our bodies are calibrated.

I guess, since I missed the first few days of journaling due to being busy and overwhelmed with this country’s beauty, I’ll outline a few of the things we have already done. I said goodbye to my family, and Tim, on Saturday night and made my way over to the airport. The flight to Toronto was great. All three of us sat next to each other, had a cookie, and hung out. We met up with Catrin too, and I really like her. She’s not reserved or cold at all, but really friendly and honestly, the perfect roommate. Having three of us in a room almost seems better, actually.

Our flight to Toronto was tainted by Kiki Rivers, the poet, but it was generally enjoyable. We got in at around 3pm EST and almost immediately, went over to Derek Walcott’s house. It literally takes my breath away (to use a necessary cliche). He showed us his studio, where there were paintings all across the walls. I want that one day. The studio was nothing like the dark, isolated, quiet spaces I’d always imagined … and thought I wanted, honestly. But his was a spacious room outside, with a long table with chairs, a bathroom, a little room with a bed – an alcove, really – up a few stairs, and several small spaces just outside. I don’t know which one to choose as my space. Maybe I’ll get to see a little bit of the world from each.

Afterward, we went to grab a pizza from Elena’s. It was amazing – so yummy! We essentially just chatted. The best part of the day was, no question, sitting across from Derek, listening to him reintroduce himself, the island and the class. There was his pool on one side, and the ocean on the other. There were bats, beautiful but quick, swarming the air. There was the sunset on all of our faces, reminding us where exactly we were. It’s so strange to have the weather be so incredibly hot, but have the sun go down at only six PM. The sky is dark here. I think that’s notable – just how endlessly black the sky is.

 

[blog] gone

My emotions have a deadline. How will I leave behind what I want to keep most? How can pictures and videos compare to your warmth? How many yous will I meet? How many yous will I leave behind? How many yous will destroy me? I have been tied in knots. The worst part is thinking; what could have been?

What could have been?

pangs

“Eshe, I have always wanted to love you.”

I am sprawled on the ground; I talk to the sky. Alone. Alone. Alone. Alone.

The sky does not answer. Some neurons ache.

di s conn ec t

Vivian believes her spirit left her four years ago. My hand crawls up her shoulder, brushes the darkness of her hair. I imagine the fog around us is mystic; precious. What can I cherish, if not her? I have tried to understand magic. I have tried to recreate the strange, with you.

Some thoughts disconnect. They are caught in the trees. I am left wondering.

“I don’t want to live past thirty.” Vivian laughs. Vivian is sad.

“Then I don’t either.”

She looks at me – I wonder if I have ever stopped breathing, and if this is what air tastes like.

“Asika, you are such a mystery.”

My surprise is evident. I find myself wishing I could know what Vivian was thinking. Who am I to her?

Everything.

death

Eshe talks to my mother about karma. My mother wonders what she did wrong in her past life that put her where she is now. My college books are scattered on the kitchen table – theology, biology, anatomy. I piece apart myself.

Later, Eshe smiles at me. She, in any case, is glad I am home again. Even if it is for a funeral.

midnight

Eshe is crying, somewhere. Vivian presses ahead.

“Is this necessary?” How can I admit I am just as afraid as Eshe behind us? That my heart has lurched from its hiding place and sits in a panic between my ribs. My eyes are open, but I blink and I blink. The dark seeps through me. Vivian’s darkness is consuming.

“Vivian! Asika!” Eshe is eleven. She has a beautiful, round face that seems unsupported by a thin neck. I know that Eshe fears ghosts like she fears the monsters under her bed. Someday, Vivian’s enthralling dark, in this moment, will capture her too.

The moon hangs like a noose above us. I look behind us, watch as Eshe’s round face contorts in each shadow – how her olive complexion blanches. I wonder which one of us Vivian is challenging.

Cairo is in our year. At sixteen, the boy remains apathetic to the concerns of his sister. Eshe latches onto us, out of admiration or perhaps loneliness. I think Vivian understands better than me. Something about Eshe taunts her, makes her crawl with unease. A pause stifles my thoughts. Vivian’s ragged breath at my ear.

“We’ll be rid of her after this.”

I look back at Eshe, peer at her intensely. The graveyard swells around her – threatens to eat her up. Later, I will contemplate whether Vivian wanted to scare Eshe away, or wanted company when digging up her dead mother.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.