"A tradition" and "Light and Shadow from a fire that burns a napkin"

A tradition

In my dream

you looked at me

through lilac colored glasses


and when you took them off

we looked at each other

as if we both understood

what should be said


Hey you, I wanted to say

and ask:

How do I make sweet   liquid   

of my sufferings


How do I wake   dead


How do I call on heroes

to find light in my lacks

in this road of fork

after fork


My silver-wear

crinkles in my hands

above this sink

and after the water is sucked down

I will feel alone


It's been over 21 years

and there is a lot

 I've wanted to tell you


I remember coffee and croissants

come Sunday 

this weekly ritual

we had

and how you always whistled

before you came     

That was our signal


A picture

of myself sitting on your shoulder

that ring you left me

shining on your finger

heritage is a strong word

me in my blue tanktop

you in your blue shirt

My memories of you are like crumbs

on the tablecloth


I missed a mass

held in your name the other day

Not sure if on purpose

or by accident

I can say that

I didn't want to share the grief


Ada is lonely

still vile

just as when you left us

And lately I haven't had the gull

to see her

My Grandma Laura is lonely too

her pastry shop has long closed

and she just had a diabetic episode

but she seems to be recovering well

and she's still sweet

and grandfather Moses is dead

which brings me to my

second lost Sunday tradition

of lunch at my father's parents

fried pork chunks and plantains

homemade mac and cheese

Russians salad

riz collé

and cream soda to wash the meal

all that has gone with the wind


the cliché is that nothing lasts forever

because nothing does


Before he died a few years ago

I touched Moses' dying skin

almost empty

of its fleshy weight

and it felt as if he really wanted

the rest

to become air or ghost or something

that can float into oblivion

as if he and time

bitterly shook hands


I remember you

during your funeral

black and blue and cold

as I had never known you

and the surprise, or shock to later know you

as ash, as dream, or in the mirror



old heroes never die

let's share this morning




Light and shadow from a fire that burns a napkin

Tonight the city looks

like a giant shadow, needles

of car light tearing through this dark sheet

like burn spots


Above the street I feel as if

I overcame or can overcome          or forgive you

and I wonder what this full moon feels

looking down at me like actinolite

polished by a diligent cloth of smoky cloud


In this dark

I too must be a shadow

wondering if the moon saw me

8 years ago

when we met


Tell me which is worse

in losing a lover

this feline shadow

with claws that prick

or what feels like ashes


For a while I was too drunk

to drink regret away

and it followed me

like a sweltering Miami noon


Why am I still filled

with your scent

like raw vanilla

those tawny embers of hair

silky curls

like Austrian drawings 

the cat's eyes

that always betrayed        your lips

plump like your ass

this pillow  

that dropped

bellow these soft shoulders


that kept me warm

in those hours of early day

and late night


I've come to see

that it was lust

our     charred     motive


and a sin to know you



Darryl / Dadou / Baron Wawa

Darryl / Dadou / Baron 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 Friday, July 6, 2018 - 10:50