death seeps into my dreams
water sweet poison
changing color
draining its dark stench
bowel green
rice water
grey as the empty sky
as corpses i travel over
no requiem no libera me domine
soaked and dissolved in water
grey rice water bowel green
seeping bleeding drenching flooding
into this island of ceaseless wonders
closed open closed
open to the sea water
and the artibonite river
i would like to float
even in a paper boat
away from these senseless sorrows
i carry
my back breaking
from the grievous load
of life denied withheld
and death without ritual or funeral
through much whispering and loneliness
homesickness lovesickness watersickness
my island of endless distress
bathed in shitwater no metaphor will do
sometimes i am dazzled by your beauty
but you are a lump of sadness in my throat
it is grey outside
dead grey sky
wind flapping sheets
spreading the smell of death
from a woman like me unlike me
soaking the dark dirt with water
bowel green rice water grey
until it reaches the bowels of the earth
till relentlessly life comes to a standstill
leaving her with sightless sunken eyes
and shriveled skin
my island of seven plagues and maladies
holding me and my memories
in a slow swelling blister of waste oozing solidliquid
my island of cyclical crises
i love you through the stench of death
as if devoid of the sense of smell
as others void bowel green water rice water grey
soaking you in shitwater no metaphor will do
i weep over the empty sky

michèle voltaire marcelin

(It is believed that the cholera epidemic that struck Haiti since October 2010 may have come from irresponsible dumping of human excrement into the Artibonite River system by a Nepalese contingent of the MINUSTAH)

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