Letter to St. Kitts

by M. J. Smith

The dishes will stay dirty
at least for one more night
because there is a poem
that needs to be written.
It is about you, about
your black hair flopping
all over the pillow near me,
your small belly showing
because your shirt is pulled
up slightly, inviting me
to touch, inviting me to kiss,
inviting me.

If this sounds dirty
then so be it, but it stands
for so much that is clean,
for so much wild, crisp
thought that hurdled forward
when you stopped threatening
to leave town, return home
and abandon the humid air
of this strange place
that now holds far more
of the unnameable,
far more of the mysterious,
than it was ever supposed to.

Yes, the dishes won’t be done.
They won’t be done for some time.

M. J. Smith, a long-time reporter, has worked as the AP correspondent in Trinidad, at The Providence Journal in Rhode Island, the AP in Little Rock and The Times-Picayune in New Orleans. He is now in Paris, studying at the Sorbonne, writing and trying to find manual labor so he can afford to buy cheap wine.