Two Poems – Camila Arevalo

Two Poems – Camila Arevalo


Saint-Domingue in the Summer

For 3,000 livre a white man could lay
Under the church all rotting and wormy
Grubs eating at his lips
The stench climbing on the pews

The French were unaccustomed to
The ripening effect of heavy tropical air

The fields of sugar cane beyond, shook

Those enslaved, unbaptized
And departed soon after arrival
Were dipped in the darkness
Under the thick of sweet fields

Animals from the swamps came later
To expose the bodies, gleaming and dirty


Suzie’s Wonton Palace

Your head is crooked under the dense weight of your paper hat
A sailor clinging aboard, amidst the crashing of city noise
The bulging of your eyes and
The dumplings
Sweating from beneath their blankets of dough
Gliding across the counter
In their cardboard boats
With frail napkin sails.
The fly, which lands upon your knuckle
Vibrates its wings with your eyelid
Your back is bent
In worship
A pious man
The linoleum floors collect your daydreams
And at the end of the night
You sweep them up



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