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from “Boat People”

Mayra Santos-Febres

ink for this poem about leaving an island
old Tonton Macoutes fools          mediocre sky
new Tonton Macoutes
nothing to eat
not even a single sun tree or mangrove in combite.
no dogs to chase away the excess
heralding your death’s arrival.
black ink at
crossroads made only of water this time
of wild-eyes and saltpeter and waves
bearing the thousand pieces of your cardboard breast
          four tires
                    whatever floats         negress
whatever makes this madness invisible.
the cemetery guardians have bulletproof vests
and you          nothing
not even a heron rises to the sky to
make it rain on the yawl.
shipwrecked
it would be a seaweed kiss
a little bed like the moss between your thighs
your offering
when there is not even a tear left to drink.
                    there’s nothing
                    not even ink
                    to describe
                    your journey.