The Unnamed Creature Said to Come from the Water / andre bagoo

Give me two pairs of shoes, burn one on the beach
Dip the other at sea and then will you be free

Hear this: the ocean is not meant to be lit at night
Instead of going to water I go to light

I have swum in invisible ink for thousands of years
Liquid and air have parted, empty for centuries

Now I change your habit of playing in the rain
Now you come to learn the danger of lightening

I have figured out how to enter your dreams
I have deciphered the cipher for these trick vessels

The black voices sank and were drowned in the sea
The noises hush beneath the neon pool

Shackles chain you now, cup of tea in hand
Day dreaming by the water, feathers in the sand

At nights you sleepwalk here, where dank moths die
You walk in rain and wake up sweating, his lie

Your mother cannot name her great grandmother
Your father does not know where his village was

But I have such knowledge, I ensure these erasures
I follow the stop, I do not leak


 was born and lives in Trinidad. A journalist, he writes for Newsday and has published poems and book reviews in journals like the Boston ReviewCaribbean Review of Books and St Petersburg Review. This is a poem from his first book of poems, Trick Vessels, which is published by Shearsman Books (