HERVÉ COMEAU

In Haiti, the place of bones

 

 

there were the bones
rusted our rails that hugged tight dry-earth

 

there was aqueduct like sinew
and people like blood spilt

 

we who had been, tall things
spired, peopled places
abducted bits of magic

 

we might be now
threatening to run, to flow again
to let: good-God dam-them
the bubble burst, edge to ocean
to fist, to high mother, to live
scab peeled, At Last!

 

brand new rust, like burnt brown flesh
sinew live again
all of us, eyed opened
damns taken back

 

or, we, grassed over gone
forgotten into the foundation
of some still new thing.

We are told

 

 

that our grandfathers ate mana in the desert

that it flaked like broken bits of glass from sand and rock

their stomachs underused and creased like old leather, their lips cracked dry and bloody

 

they prayed and dreamt

and so loved were they

that morning mist grew mana, collecting like hard dew

and our grandfathers ate mana in the desert

 

we prayed in Haiti

our stomachs underused and creased, our lips cracked and bloody

we prayed, and dreamt, and prayed again

 

they say we are not loved

that morning mist brought dew, and dew brought rain

and rain turned storm

and what food there was, was washed away

and our stomachs creased further, turned raisin

and our lips split bloodlessly

 

still we prayed

we were all of us Job

and the mana eaters, all the eaters ate

had we mana, we would not eat

they say we will inherit the Earth

Hervé Comeau is a Haitian-American artist. He received his B.A. in English Literature from Florida State University in 2008. In 2009, he went on to attend Cornell Law, where he received his Juris Doctorate in 2013. He is a also a recent graduate of Syracuse University’s prestigious MFA program. His poetry has appeared in Pif, his fiction in Hobart, and more fiction is set to appear in the anthology Time Travel for All of Us.