local_library Elegy for Asylum

by Herve Comeau

Published in Issue No. 235 ~ December, 2016

From sweat muscled calves

      from the down swing of machetes

from clouds of dust south the sugar mills

     from out the Holy Spirit

from cane honey

 from white-fisted fathers

black-breasted mothers

                                       and the laugh-cry of loa.

Come people grown midway, ‘tween Africa


and the edge

Sprung up through the bodies of Caribs

up through rough trade and railway

up through ocean

littered with the wide-eyed drowned.

Out deco splattered buildings come

refinished beaches fed from Las Vegan sands.

To these come black ants, the anarchic scramble,

to land, to copper street, to the cuff-net of detention,

the down swing of billy clubs,

springs cracked bone augury, casted down like

finished buckets of half-eaten chicken

spring then infants with liquid tongues and foreign

walks, dead gods and plates of un-sucked marrow.

From black bodies to black ants to black flies and white maggots.

From the beauty of the criss-crossed tunnels of the hill

kicked, turned to mad-dash-frenzy, we crawl

in the house that made the boot