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Oscillation B: Paper Boats

Mi abuela,

La Nonna makes them for me,

But I must wait, for every drop is heavy & cold.


“Nonna, let’s make them now, the sun is shining.”

Las brujas… the witches are finishing their bath in the light,”

She says & picks up some newspapers from the table in the balcony.


I ask if we can open the gate, move our game out front,

Away from the taunting lengua de vaca & cara de caballo,

Their smooth leaves, their jaded spark.


I want to dare the Amazon, the rush in the gutter,

And as I let them free, they tumble & crash into pebbles,

They drown next to the seeds falling, falling from the flamboyant.


My grandmother Isabel takes out her broom & sweeps,

She sweeps down the hill the brittle seeds,

She sweeps my broken boats.


Published in:

Journal of Caribbean Literatures, Vol. 5.3 (2008),

Editor: James Fowler, U of Central Arkansas: 115

Re-published in

When Divas Howl at the Moon,

Editor: Chezia Thompson Cager,

page 113, 2008

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