Poetry and Prose from the Center for Writers
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by MARJORIE TURNER
Upon travelling to Jamaica
I am white
like the eyes pressed deep
into the vendor's face,
white like the mildew on the graves
of slaves swallowed whole like black pills
in the mouth of time;
and pinkish, small, like ackee—
cooked under the searing gaze of
the dog biting fleas off of
his paw and guarding yards
of fabric for sale.
I am white
like sea salt
dried on a rock
left too high at low tide.
White as teeth glistening—
like freshly mopped tiles—
in a black mouth;
white with blue veins
like the paper stashed
in schoolchildren's backpacks,
no longer smooth and pristine
but crumpled under textbooks.
The Love Song Revisited
I don’t want to go, you and me,
until the sun is just rising, steam off of my tea
like a fresh-brewed soul waiting in the morning.
We can leave, pushing through crowded streets,
the surge of feet
and bodies swarming like the fruit of an opened hive
and anthill hotels with neon queens inside.
Avenues winding like the hands on clocks,
ringing too early
for comfort and making you wonder…
please don’t say it. “I have to go.”
Men leave each night,
mumbling about dinosaurs.
They look like lighthouses,
the way their heads spin.
I let my hair fall in front of you,
strands coming down in waves;
the seas on my head could not carry away
the debris. A shipwreck still remains.
Marjorie Turner has red hair, freckles, and a bad relationship with sunlight. She enjoys cooking gourmet masterpieces while wearing a great pair of heels. She writes constantly, usually in class or while she’s procrastinating her homework. She would like to own a cardigan factory and marry Daniel Tosh.