This baby, my gold.

This banana plantation, hers.
This wild bush, hers.
This worm-laced dirt, hers.

She will build me a house with wooden shutters and a red tin roof.
She will build me a house with a view of the sea.

My baby is white as an enamel plate. Chalk. Cloud.
She will get me out of here.

We will lace orange rind through our coal hair.
We will grow hibiscus in our ears.
We will play, there is a brown girl in the ring.

People dressed in white try to kill me with lightning bolts.
Quiet my sound. Shhhh.
But I ring loud, a spoon against the metal bed post.

My baby will understand why I lit the candle.
Set fire to my mother’s lace curtains.

Stole the kerosene lamp.
Set fire to her father’s banana trees.

For her, for her my sweet Celine.
I spoon her name into these bleached walls.


Photo by Ryan Parker on Unsplash

Catherine Esther Cowie

Catherine Esther Cowie is a 2017 Callaloo Writing Workshop graduate. Her work has appeared in Moko Magazine: Caribbean Arts and Letters, The Penn Review and Forklift Ohio. Currently, she resides in Kenosha, Wisconsin.