marcus garvey’s house atop a hill

I had not been home to Jamaica in over a decade. In August 2015 I took a trip, and while there, visited Marcus Garvey’s house, which still stands atop a small hill, with the same ginep tree that was there when he was a child. I ate from that ginep tree and imagined Garvey climbing high to reach the sweetest ones.

Photo: Taken by me in front of Garvey’s house

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the living

There are days like today when the living ain’t easy. 
I sit in the back of the store—breakroom slash 
stockroom—waiting for things I cannot name. 

Boxes stacked to the ceiling containing gadgets to 
keep us entertained. Fluorescent lights hum. 
The clock ticks away each second of my life for 

minimum wage. I won’t be dishonest, a dollar 
more than minimum. I am still a slave without 
chains. The mental and spiritual shackles are 

hard and cold, holding me firm to an invisible 
wall deep inside invisible catacombs. There is 
no cask here. I am bricked in by this culture. 

It is wild and oppressive and no longer free. I want to 
melt coins, burn Franklins and Washingtons to ash, 
mix them to create magic wands to cast out demons 

and cast spells to bind the future of capitalism; forever.

The bulbs continue to buzz, the microwave hums, 
warming food for the one invading my space. She is 

tall and pencil thin, hair dyed Smurf-blue, voice like 
Rosie Perez. She doesn’t know that I want to save her 
from this place, this back room, cold and lonely, not fit 

for life. We are here because the melting and burning 
has not yet begun. Instead of a war cry to usher in the 
next revolution, she waits for a beep, so her radiated 

meal can soothe her. She eats away her minimum wage, 
unconcerned with the reality that she may live and die in 
a stockroom, somewhere on this continent, making less 

than the patriarchy that owns her life and lives well off 
her lack. Her Smurf-blue hair will have turned gray and 
white, her back low and knees pained; but she can’t 

stop because cat food is expensive these days and 
she needs to eat.

The light dims and flickers. A toilet 
flushes in the distance. Footsteps trace their way 

back to the front to greet an uneventful life, bloodied 
with microwave dinners, worn shoes, unpaid light 
bills and a life-dance without music.

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in elysium

Your whispers reach me across time. They find me standing on the edge of awakening. My dreams leave, then your dreams ask to enter the space of love that eases our pain. We go together, warriors of love, into the fields of Elysium. And there we plant ourselves in eternity, seeded and ready to incarnate once again, once again, once again, here. But the place we must wait is distant, taking us across vast barren land. We make love on the dry soil and our cries of ecstasy fertilize what was once dead. We water the land with our love-waters. Green things grow as our orgasms grow. We green the Earth with every drop of us. And life grows, inside and out. Elysium waits for us, again, somewhere off in the distance. It waits for everything we are; and the offering we brought forth from our love.

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