for A. T.
My friend from Guyana
was asked in Philadelphia
if she was from “Iguana.”
Iguana, which crawls and then
stills, which flicks its tongue at the sun.
In history we learned that Lucayans
ate iguana, that Caribs
(my grandmother’s people)
ate Lucayans (the people of Guanahani).
Guiana (the colonial way,
with an i, southern-most
of the Caribbean) is iguana; Inagua
(southern-most of The Bahamas,
northern-most of the Caribbean)
is iguana. Inagua, crossroads with Haiti,
Inagua of the salt and flamingos.
The Spanish called it Heneagua,
“water is to be found there,”
water, water everywhere.
Guyana (in the language of Arawaks,
Wai Ana, “Land of Many Waters”)
is iguana, veins running through land,
grooves between green scales.
My grandmother from Moruga,
(southern-most in Trinidad)
knew the names of things.
She rubbed iguana with bird pepper,
she cooked its sweet meat.
The earth is on the back
of an ageless iguana.
We are all from the Land of Iguana,
Hewanorra, Carib name for St. Lucia.
And all the iguanas scurry away from me.
And all the iguanas are dying.
for A. T.