Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné: The Wild Thing Is Always Near

Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné

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Your Daughter is Trouble

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Your daughter is trouble
too much of her father’s
madness in her broad bones,
too much silence in her speech,
too much wanting.
And she is only half-pretty,
ten pounds too heavy,
something wild
about the ring
of her laughter.
There is a lit fuse
in your daughter’s mouth,
her brownish body a bomb
set down, soft and waiting
to make war with your name.

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Shapeshifter’s Love Song

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Your mother had nosebleeds as a child.
There was no one to part the copper clouds
of her hair, cool her temples
with oil and music.

Now she is the woman
who walks through walls
before your eyes.
She wears quiet colours
and sleeps with feral cats.
Your mother is the woman
who, from the corner of an eye,
could be a long- stemmed tiger lily
flaming against bricked-up sky.

You are your mother’s son
with those cat’s eyes
made for dark evenings
and lightless rooms.
Your feral dreams frighten you.
Sometimes, there is blood
in your throat when you wake.

Every now and then
you slip through a wall
and surprise yourself.
Plain stone turns opaline,
cries out in your hands.
Early mornings, the house
cannot hold you. The falling moon
seizes your raw body, reminds you
of your first, true shape.

And perhaps you chose me
because I, too, walk through walls;
because you sensed me burning
inside my tiresome skin
long before you knew the shape
of my hot, poemstruck heart.
Perhaps you recognized first
my shapeshifter’s smile,
like your own.

You see,
the wild thing is always near.

The mouth you find so beautiful
breaks into blades of bone
on lonely evenings.

On nights like this, no one
will part the dark feathers,
anoint my backbone with salt
to keep shapeshifters at bay.

On nights like this,
I am quiet, heavy-winged,
lost beneath the wet sackcloth
of shapeshifter’s skin.

Come with me,
come wild beneath the bone-white moon,
the shifting begins
with this….

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Insomniac’s Song

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The night is a bomb.

No one will sweep
up the morning.

I am wrecked,
startling,
a vessel hollow
and lost

Undone, I wander
an ocean of dying
moths, with a heartful
of flammable terrors
to buoy me.

This is my moon,
Sliver of bone
Rattling
among the flotsam

I know the sun
will not wake
for me..

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Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné is a poet and artist from Trinidad and Tobago. Her poems have been published in Bim: Arts for the 21st Century, the Caribbean Writer, Tongues of the Ocean, Canopic Jar Poetry Journal, Small Axe Literary Salon, Anthurium: a Caribbean Studies Journal, Poui: Cave Hill Journal of Creative Writing, Breadcrumb Scabs and WomenWriters.net. In 2009 she was awarded the Charlotte and Isidor Paiewonsky Prize by the Caribbean Writer’s editorial board, and in 2010 she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In 2011 she was shortlisted for the Small Axe Poetry Prize. Her first collection of poetry is currently being edited for publication. At present, she is pursuing a master’s degree in Literatures in English, and is the poetry editor at Anansesem: the Caribbean Children’s Ezine. She blogs here.

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