Golpe de Estado

Tropical undergrowth spurting up from the earth in fantastic green Caribbean fans and fountains,

I leave poreless black asphalt in Trinidad for an undeveloped Central American coast with another,

after distance dried out an abstract love,

while I lived lonely in reality,

and swarthy, wrinkled skin judged deep brown faces,

including mine,

against racialized spaces in an unspoken, segregated Miami.

I close the chapter where the Nilotic, Trinidadian king rules like an ancient Nubian with me in another time,

in the Americas.

I lose my love with you in the solid glow of the Sahara,

in the gushing flow of the Nile,

in the gentility of the sea between us.

I mourn that the pyramid was just a monument for another to coddle,

and so the legend finishes with me asking:

Will you forgive me for choosing the present over the beginning of time and forever,

for burying a legend under the living of now,

for trading in one kingdom for another king,

entirely?

Copyright © 2013 Nichelle Calhoun

* Golpe de Estado is Spanish for coup d’etat.

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