Confessor

This is where you leave me.
Filling of old salt and ponderous,

what’s left of your voice in the air.
Blue honeycreeper thrashed out

to a ragged wind, whole months
spent crawling this white beach

raked like a thumb, shucking, swallowing
the sea’s benediction, pearled oxides.

Out here I am the body invented naked,
woman emerging from cold seas, herself

the raw eel-froth met beneath her tangles,
who must believe with all her puckering

holes. What wounds the Poinciana slits
forth, what must turn red eventually.

The talon-mouths undressing. The cling-cling
bird scratching its one message; the arm

you broke reset and broke again. Caribbean.
Sky a wound I am licking, until I am drawn new

as a lamb, helpless in the chicken wire of my sex.
I let every stranger in. Watch men change faces

with the run-down sun, count fires
in the loom-holes of their pickups, lines of rot,

studying their scarred window-plagues,
nightshade my own throat closed tight

against a hard hand. Then all comes mute
in my glittering eye. All is knocked back,

slick hem-suck of the dark surf, ceramic
tiles approaching, the blur of a beard.

The white tusk of his ocean goring me.
This world unforgiving in its boundaries.

The day’s owl and its omen
slipping a bright hook

into my cheek —

More Poems by Safiya Sinclair