Cabinda – A Poem By Dave Lewis

Poem: Cabinda

Look! The Bakongo are here – beautiful and strong

honey-sweet fat caterpillar-lipped

tasting of frangipani in dew,

statuesque curves adorned in psychedelic charms…

Open that casket, give the men nzimbu shells

and tell them to wash off that sugar sweat of jungle.

Then check the chains are tight,

they’ll shrink down to the bones

by the time we reach port at Charleston.

I can see that one now, put in virginal white,

that cassava belly starved away,

in a silk gown and a flower in her hair.

And the other one, there, yes the one with all her teeth.

She’ll be worth a thousand dollars one day,

depending on those hips of course.

Now don’t forget the trinkets for our good friends,

measure out the copper, the cloth and the beads

and double-check the figures in the ledger.

From the collection ‘Scratching The Surface’ by Dave Lewis

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