By the jelly blue lights of an ocean
The day wakes, and breaks into sweat
Beach saunterers gossip of potions,
The power of juju, the wet
Face of a madman, whose wife, they said
put a spell in with the onions—
It was a Sunday of church, vodou, and knife
Her stewpots were seized by his cousins.
Jesus loomed in the market
Smiling benign and garish
Umbrellas and baskets of vegetable
Water in plastic bags, licorice.
Braid my hair, please, Madame, I said
Churchbells are singing, the sun has scored
It’s way to noon, and here, my head
Rings with magic and blood, is shored
Against these fervent hallelujas
this ocean of hard palms clapping
I’ve heard that the Lord is the color red,
Both lover and assassin.