WHEN IN JAMAICA
On the bus to the mountain they speak patois thick as molasses. “My grandfather Moses parted the sea with a rod. This Moses parted the sea with his dick.” I study Hearts and Crafts. I dreamed of you. “I am the flavorite around here” One hundred J question: What’s missing? Music. Jamaica is so nice. Outdoor showers, dirt roads. Swimming in the salt and fresh in Blue Lagoon. Blue Mountain coffee. Blue. Blue. Blue. Ah. Whitey. Whitey. In English, it’s Kingston. In patois: Killsome. I need more tongue inside to speak.
You look like chicken skin. Why? You were born in the ice. I was born in the sun. Yah mon in a French accent. These boys. One looks for the “cylinder” to drain the pasta. “You’ve been researching your mind.” This week will go down in history as what-the-fuck-have-we-done week. “Good things come to those who wait but not to those who wait too late.” I can’t recognize my tongue, tongue.
The French men who cooked us dinner are outside at the candlelit table. People like to congregate around lit things. It’s normal in France, they say, for men to do this for women. I am in love with every object I touch. Scrubbing the stove immaculate, then turning to him, squeezing the sponge into the sink, saying “It’s good, no?” and he smiles so. I didn’t know that watching a man cook could make me fall in love with him. I love everything. Every ting. Love. I am so in love with my own laughter. This is gonna make you laugh. Impossibly stoned. Strobe light. Video on Super-8. Did you ever notice how much Diane Sawyer sounds like dinosaur? “Like a Virgin” across the dirt road. Strip club. Red lights. Red Stripe. Jerk sauce. Orion, again, watching it all.
I kiss one of the French boys on the cheek. “That’s all? I want to taste American lips,” he says. I realize this is how a porn starts. God, I want the one in the middle—what’s his name? The one with the scar? Just do what you want. That sounds like a recipe for disaster. Define: disaster. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Don’t fight it. Go ahead. Feed chicken bones to the dogs.
Andrea Henchey‘s MFA is from Pacific Lutheran University; her work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Poetry Journal, H_NGM_N, Absent, Muzzle, Other Rooms, Drunken Boat, Pank, and A River & Sound Review. Though her travels have brought her to more exotic locales such as Nepal, Kenya, and Chile, she currently lives in Connecticut where she coordinates “Inescapable Rhythms,” a poetry reading series, trains for marathons with her mutt, Bodhisattva, and teaches full-time. Learn more at www.andreahenchey.com.