On Sugar and the Carnival of War

By COLIN CHANNER

At-sink coffee;
way horizon curry lined.

We’re spilling turbinado
as we spoon out in half light.

Jouvay. Sugar the jute frocked assassin
is clumsy, carries shekere and crunch,

disarms with hemp smell.
I know alluvial, but if not

I’d sense the crystals’ origin in earth,
lava over eons going crumble,

sawyer negros ganging timber—
clearing—language will and

muscles breaking down.
In the show framed by sash window

clumps of palms stickfight,
get limber, fronds as long calindas

spinning, blurred. A fruit of some size
falls out there in shadow

and we can’t see what’s destroyed
what ant pounded

what twig maligned
and we perk in hush

as what happens in filial dry climates
when drones do their work

and boof thoraxes dismembered.
Of a sudden collateral gone.

I took my coffee black today.
Somewhere without degreed baristas

a near-blind hand inchworms
a counter and

the crystals’ ant-attracting
frass is dulled of bite.

Pain’s absence is a danger.
Blindness of the spirit a choice.

 

Colin Channer was born in Jamaica and educated there and in New York. He teaches at Brown.

[Purchase Issue 22 here.] 

On Sugar and the Carnival of War

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