Soucriant Robot Killings & Other Poems

Kwasi Shade

Cocks Who Drag

When one wants to love
wearing late-night westerns
bedazzled on the Avenue
in heels pushed up hindsight
where I started to thin.

Tonight wears a ragged sky, a skirt, sat borrowed lashes
long beams trucking the street, and beside me
my bantam hard feet, sweating haunting persistence in daylight,
from walking nowhere to meet with you.
We became things capable with possession.
Night was our costume, decked with kindred grim. We were the ghosts who tricked for flesh;
wig, veil, lashes and mascara,
becoming for certain beneath heft of habit;
a rehearsed memory.

Butterfly Eyes

You still wonder in bed like
“Can he love me?” goes the hung light.
His maiden tendencies bread the maw
your impossible lover. A crucifix
beating where your heart once was.
Your eyes long like butterflies
met with you for the first time.
And you were his again.
You still call him lover. How he knows your curves
is not the impossible wonder. “He still calling him, you know.”
lends the advice of your mother. Dearest, she said,
his was cistern dour. God Bitch, dead!

Then your eyes proud like butterflies
greeted you holy for the first time.
And you were like his again.
Those eyes would flute somewhere away from you
quick his tricks he spits and possesses you far off
to rest in cocoons on the meadow’s lavender chagrin. His
tryst eyes do say what your lips forget to bring through to you.

But once where, there, never will you be, oh dear, for him, again
lost in his unseeming, never still, cheating, beating like butterfly eyes.

Soucriant Robot Killings

A scream was born from disease;
we who died covenant from living with charred holes,
boiling, a fire left with our bodies.

I had no manual for the technology of this skin.
No one knew how my skin was powered.

We who were
chalked bones melted alike into sidewalks; and
I was still with this black how it sounds.

No receipt to return me to where I come from
to help me find a store, a country or something
so I could compare myself to ancestral models.
To be let in on the secret auction,
the heritage of who I was;
sold and lost from me
in a Red House fire, in a war yet fought long ago,
boiling, a fire left with our bodies.
Sometimes I wanted to turn the damned thing off./Not to have to bear all this hum, hmm, chirp and huh as I walked.
Like was power heft in me.

To be just is a sorry dilemma. Black and
bruised by mistaken identity is the sorry dilemma.
Always, that I have looked like somebody;
guilty. Justice has taken up a quarrel
with my body
that these skin things were battery in me. The inebriated look as a remote emptiness, the look of a war yet fought long ago.
A look I don’t never see coming, boiling, a fire heft in me.

My voice conundrums with this ache. 

Then by you I got that ease the one time. / A feeling of “boy you good” not because you wasn’t hearing/all this humming and chirping when I shrinked. Bearing me with your goodness
you said, / “I like how your black sounds.”

And as “Oh dear” as I was
this skin thing was no matter after all. You sounded almond like you and I sounded black like me./Like this harmony was the best we could see in each other.
Then with love,

I was light this skin.

Kwasi Shade is interested in representing the true myriad of Caribbean dichotomies in their stories, testing the parameters of Creole vernacular. They want to communicate the Carnival Aesthetic. Their poetry, short stories, and drawings have appeared in Pree Lit, Moko, Enby, Tamarind, Pinkwashed zine, Prismatica, and Culturego. A recipient of the 2010 Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival Ident Award, they sell pelau crackers, mango chips, and RumChow in their spare time. Their music has been called House Rapso and New Wave Kaiso.


*Image by Elliot Wilkinson on Unsplash

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