"Castles in the Sky," "Dusk Flute," and "Chthonic Blunder"

Castles in the Sky

I remember your voice

sisterly, reproachful, commanding

how you always led us to trouble

We bathed in dirty water

in your new unfinished swimming pool

and the ensuing itches

are now moony puddle tracks


That time you tried

to teach me how to swim

and we both almost drowned

saved by your housekeeper

Hide and seek                                      

the glow-in-the dark star stickers

in your bedroom

horror films, comedies

that didn’t yet feel like a reason

come to me in the patterns       

of your mother’s carpets


We used to crack almonds at grandma’s

and steal deserts from her shop


You taught me the pleasure

of petty crime

of sneaking away

with a glass full of wine


You taught me

of taste and malice

What happened 

to us cousin?

Are you no longer a preacher

of how salt

makes a world of a difference

on green tomatoes


It’s like we can’t catch up

too many forks in our

divergent roads

and I wonder if that malice

still holds your eye chinks

if the creases I see now

droop feebly

from the weight of motherhood


Our relationship

was one of mischief

and our distance

tells the story of how Barbie and Ken

grew aware of the fragility of limbs

of genitals and plastic houses.



Dusk flute

The many sunset breezes I’ve felt

on the hairs of my neck

were never alike

impressions quick as lightning

that I remember as landscape paintings

by a strange artist


The idea of a place

works like forgotten sunsets

that need tricks, or poems

to be remembered

You might need

an impulsive drive to the beach

to the area that became

the idea, the character

or the phenomenon

the “it” factor


It’s easy to remember the mild rain

against the beach water crackling

keeping your back cold

as you walk soaked

on the sand

the smell of the beach

like a sweaty person

with seedy invitations


This view is more dusk than dawn

a smother of ice blue clouds

with a flicker behind

a glow between red and orange

that swallows the sky and ocean

way yonder

lighting the landscape

on fire

and don’t forget

that thin shadow

between the clouds.



Chthonic Blunder

You and I

are always speaking

through ice cubes

something colder than the truth


We are failed songbirds

with grudges

because mom and dad

because things ain’t pretty

because vanity

because media



What happened to us

that we needed so much

and forgot the original


Was there

an original song?


Never mind

I hear a new one


with fresh words and lyrics

Forgive me

if I turned your face

to a stone

I needed stepping and

couldn’t take the old sweat

Please blame

the warm sun

on the skin of my back

or the stretching horizon

because I need to hear

the cracks

in my voice.



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 Monday, September 30, 2019 - 22:24