"Electromagnetism" and "Warmth and Shelter"

Electromagnetism

A body

at a                   distance

 

        in the water

It rained

               gently

 

I had come

      to the beach

to photograph
a storm

 

with no real
                luck
And there she was

 

Brave, I thought

 

 

             the summer water

was warm even with the
                       drizzle

that stung

 

heavy grey clouds
choked

 

the sky. Light

snuck

    unevenly

from the
horizon
                         and thunder
                                                growled
                                                            intermittently, quick
                                                                                       flashes

 

slow

in

pace

 

 

            to think that

   a glance

had pulled me  

then

 

a wave

of nervous excitement
                               then a

natural

ease

in how we talked

 

 

 

         touch

 

a little

             pudgy
   flexible

like I could
          mold her

   with my hands

from belly

to

   buttock

    green

  eyes

  staring at me

behind sharp

freckles

      the smell

   of salt 

and it’s
           burn

and she like  

        milk

         in this steadily

moving

                                     sea

 

Curtained by the

   storm

the world

    behind us
disappeared
       that day.

 


 

Warmth and Shelter

My grandfather
was  more like a father
He smelled of the earth
and woodsy men’s cologne
and lifted me
like a little monkey
on his strong biceps
that bulge
I had always wanted

                                                              I could never be that man

 

I was nine
when he was murdered and
never saw his stab wounds
just ashes
in an urn my mom kept
I guess memory works
like dust

 

             She got worse after his death

 

 

My father
is an accountant
who lifted weights
rode a motorcycle
and plays the saxophone
mechanical
in his method

In our one bathroom
we showered together
sometimes and I loved
washing the soap off
his muscular
and strong shoulders
smooth and tight
with small rainbows
and bubbles from the sunlight
that came through the window

 

 

Those shoulders never
shielded
me from my mother’s
tight
clench
that dug deep
in the skin
of my arms
that raw
burn from her piercing
nails or the scissors
thrown
the scar by my knee
the pulse in my head
from her beating
fists or
the telephone receiver
the broken dishes
from her many
fits

                      The fear

Those shoulders
were never a shelter
but once my home
when he still played and loved
carrying me
on his back
Those shoulders
that became
a hard wall

Those shoulders that banged
my mother against the closet
as I hid to watch
Those shoulders that
turned away
from her
from us
time
and time
again
when my world
was still discovery

 

                                            I can hear her wailing

 

 

There was warmth
sometimes
on the couch
Friday nights
movie nights
me in between them
and my baby brother
safe
with the smell
I would recognize
as the smell
of my family
or when we
drove up
to the mountains
orange earth
local food
and the smell of pines

I would huddle
against my mother
from the cold

                                  her warm embrace

 

 

The beatings eventually
stopped

 

too late to save me.

 

 

Darryl Wawa

Darryl Wawa is a Port-au-Prince born Haitian-American who studied Photography and Creative writing. He enjoys chocolate and good books. That said, maybe a movie is a good book. He loves to work with images and words and their pairing.

 

Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - 08:21