Under the Pink Moon, The Procession Thrums with Memories of Blossom

The Procession, 2022, Hew Locke

After Hew Locke. After Taylor Johnson

My father would say so much with his eyes and hands. Sitting up in his burgundy armchair like a thorn. He would dress in waistcoat and trilby to walk up the road to the bookies on blossom warm afternoons. And when he was gone, I waited in his shadow for his sing-song step to return up the stairs. And when he didn’t return, I sat there lost like our place in history and the world.

Something was wrong when I left the country. Heart tight, sorrow crawling through the blood. Leaving meant joining an age-old tradition, down dusty roads at the crack of dawn. Humid bodies, sweat mingling fear, ebb and flow red blue and green paints. Thrumming bass behind the truck. Before us, lined streets, roped between black and white bodies. We whine to claim space.

I love the freedom assembled lines give. Celebrate, protest, mourn, and escape: The Procession. My father who packed away home in his grip on arrival; was Roberta Flack who set off a smile. I was left to shift between the gap and practice owning something around blackness. I had a feeling I would never be enough. There are times of melting, with the turn of a record, under a pink moon, when there is so much beauty to live, when I recount memories of love tucked inside.

Becoming whole

After Megan Fernandes 

Sometimes, I could see Daddy,

liming along the sea walls of Trini

racing in the hills between the metal shacks 

clothed under a black blanket dotted

with diamonds holding wishes of England

whispered from thick black lips.

I’ve been waiting on Summer like a promise.

Sweating under breasts, I’m reluctant to cross

over the threshold, the weight of this black body

offending everybody and including me.

Some days, I imagine silver light shed 

along the shoreline. Probing sand eels

leaving spiralling piles of sand and shit.

Grace is not something I wear. Except

one time after pulling myself together again in

Iceland’s otherworldly landscape.

Daddy kept his island parcelled in fur, under 

the bed, never to drift out and cocoon me in home.

At midlife crisis, I’m knee-deep in this man-made

forest, serpents for hair, munching waxcaps, knowing 

it’s not wise, but mesmerised by their ruby rubber

ness, knowing there’s no escape looking in the mirror