Roger Bonair-Agard

what the water gave me

(after Frida Kahlo)

The water gave me madness
incessant humming blood

the water remembers      the torn torso
melting through a seashell’s portholes

the quadrangular tight-rope of death
disease       slaughtered women       the trade
in gold and spirit of five hundred nations drifting

the water remembers       the water is clarity
the water remembers       offers back hurricane
the water remembers       hides its secrets

no wonder water remembers in tectonic shifts
and the angry expectorant of lava

no wonder water runs muddy       revolts
to flood and brackish

no wonder water stays still in the dark
the water is coming back home




“what the water gave me” is from Tarnish and Masquerade (Cypher Books, 2007).