The Sea Has Been Sick / lelawattee manoo-rahming

For weeks vomiting plastic:
Beads from a ponytail scrunchie
And one that looks like an amber life-saver mint;
A butterfly with wings that move
And hold-shut strawberry lip balm;
A tiny white bow tying a tiny blue flower;
The headless torso of a three-inch baby doll;

Pink hair roller w/o spurs;
Sprig of ivy in shades of green;
A curlicue black sphere with negative spaces;
Bleached-white lattice of regular squares;
And lumps of solidified rust-black tar.

The sea has been sick for weeks:
She has thrashed all the sands,
Swallowed all the sea glass.


Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming is a poet, fiction and creative non-fiction writer and essayist, born in Trinidad, who now lives in The Bahamas. Her writing has appeared in Anthurium, The Caribbean Writer, Poui: The Cave Hill Literary Annual, the Hamden-Sidney Poetry Review, The Journal of Caribbean Literatures, Yinna, the Journal of The Bahamas Association of Cultural Studies and Thamyris. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the David Hough Literary Prize in 2001, the Canute A. Broadhurst Prize for Short Fiction in 2009 and the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association 2001 Short Story Competition. Her first book of poetry, Curry Flavour, was published in 2000 by Peepal Tree Press, England. Her second poetry collection, Immortelle and Bhanddaara Poems, was published by Proverse, Hong Kong, in 2011.