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Color blind by Tatyana Hardnett
 

Haitian Mangoes

by Giovani Jacques


Grey skies tower over

dirt roads riddled with aloe 

and palmis kokoye missing the fruits that made it one.

 

Into the crevices of the ear sneaks in the sounds of the village,

chickens caw-cawing, and cows a desperate mooing,

as they’re ushered towards city-limits.

 

Through multi-colored walls and un-closable kitchen windows

the sizzle of meat enters the ears and then the nose,

and it’s then that it isn’t hard to imagine where the cow is going.

And her pleas mean she knows too.

 

In the island air,

a scent of mangoes glides from nose to nose,

a smell that coerces the subject to endlessly search for an origin,

but as life,

the smell is one of things too good to be true,

and the location of the mangoes evades yet again.

 

 

 

Instead, it’s what barrels down the street,

kicking up dirt and gravel from poor roadways

who makes his source known.

 

The putrid smell of gazoline hits us before we see what it fuels:

Run down Toyotas,

and old militant jeeps,

cursed with leaks and an exhaust pipe that let all know something's coming.

 

The scent of mangoes

Is pushed up into the nostrils,

and into the crevices of the frontal lobe

to make it none but a

memory.

Arabian gas and burnt American tires all that registers.

 

The unpaved streets succumb to weary tires,

steered by men,

whose faces stand drenched in a glee and joy,

though not at the beauty of life,

but at the intoxication

of power.

 

Drunkenly they drive,

jeep doors removed,

so, the passersby can see the ammo resting on malnourished laps,

so, the passersby can see who’s in charge.

 

And we know.

 

Life didn’t make an effort to hand us her bottle of pouvwa,

And so, we wait for the vakobon to trek through the town,

hoping that the smell of mangoes will come again

and intoxicate us enough in the meantime.

 

 

Notes:

1: Palmis Kokoye – Cocunut Tree

2: Gazolin – Gasoline

3: Pouvwa - Power

4: Vakobon - Fool



Giovani Jacques is a Haitian-American writer from Florida. Much of his works seeks to answer questions concerning identity, morality, and nature.


Tatyana Hardnett is a senior at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. At DASOTA, Tatyana is a visual arts major. The medium of their piece is paint.

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