Finished Things

Below we have poems which are complete as they stand, and let Nikki Giovanni pronounce them done. Ms. Nikki said that when a poem is finished she never tries to change it again, and she moves on. Well, someday I hope to be as good as Ms. Nikki.

    Charlotte Amalie

The place to shop here is the Bishop Tutu Mall
… an occasional revolutionary parking lot
In the heat, the slow pace of afternoons outside cemeteries
(New Orleans copied these, a Caribbean standard
almost Japanese with crowding)
stone upon stone upon white, aged, stone
hectic tourists chase all the birds away,
swarming the best headstones.

I flew in from St. Croix, before that Tortola, San Juan,
Some sweet line of sea and perfect blue
… Never rode a cruise ship so stood out among the tourists,
Who never entered any other way, they only ever cruise

Also, had more than four … hours to stay so I saw the place
Driving to Megan‘s Bay where the ships have (damn it) sailed
filled the sand with the smell of booze, retirement, and coppertone.

It is sobering to contemplate what was
… Frenchman’s reef conjures a storm of pirate tales
lost now under concrete walks behind glass hotels
where mountainous canoes spew money, jobs,
and the lesser hope of sharing.
Locals cast lots for stripping riches.

    Christiansted, US Virgin Islands

Here, we didn’t see Iguanas … but on the road
Horses bloomed like magic

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