André O. Hoilette: Two Poems
water became currency
when water became currency
the skin of our lips peeled and split
bled and splashed regret to caked mud
whose crevices tore land the way glaciers used
to, unearthed lakes, moraine the language of conquest.
the rich had water tanks long before the waters spoiled
billionaires with water towers to dictate your planting
real trickle-down economics to enrich their soil first and
maybe yours or for most of the harvest. some, from the air,
pull ice, but the salt shores shrivel the skin, sinks the
tender pulp of eyes to the skull’s interior, the loose skin
of the dehydrated and me
before, not seeing a thirst building,
vomiting bile and ash
love in the time of covid: spell casting
how to love in this time?
you are. that you haven’t
been touched or touched anyone
how your eyes,
begin to weep
at the thought of this truth,
that you’ve done it before,
in the celibacy between
how you wish for any hand to extend to you
in the dark, to touch your ear, the way you like, to volunteer to be the big spoon
to let themselves be cared for without fear of overwatering.
admit that you are seeing the poets face
in the windows of salt houses,
under the threat of city rains.
that your brooding may be too much
even if the poet came
that there is a convenience, a kindness in having a virus to blame.
the year of your mother’s birth
when she was a wish fulfilled
and you a possibility the year watson found
a double helix,
and salk believing every virus was an universe,
that would collapse on itself,
then injected the vaccine for polio, into his love, their children, then himself, knowing he would cripple or save them.
how he wept at their bare arms,
thrusting where scars would be.
touch becomes a sin
on your face,
bellies and inner thighs,
sin in the way your teeth grazes the ear lobes
a whispering prayer
sews close the distance
for two, apart
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
André O. Hoilette is a Jamaican-born poet living in Denver, Colorado. He is a Cave Canem alumnus and former editor of ambulant: A Journal of Poetry & Art and Nexus Magazine. He is currently pursuing MFAs in Fiction and Poetry from Regis University. Previous publication is Stand Our Ground, Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam, and the Cave Canem 10 year reader, milk magazine and other journals.
Previous ArticleFanny Julissa García: Two Poems