Louise Edwards

Ignorance

On her lap, Slave Society of the Danish West Indies, splayed
open, unread
stories of hangings and rape and who knows what.
Day at the beach, and they’re still there:

Him and her tranquilized in folding chairs.
Rum bottles and skin
glow in the dark.

Maybe, if her throat wasn’t choked with honey,
she might have said, honey,

——the moon’s cold tonight like
——cowry shells, ghost knees, cheekbones –
——why isn’t the moon orange or sweet potato or
——honey –
——where has the honeymoon gone?

And if he had heard through his beeswax,
he might have known, sugar,

——the truth of it all:
——your young green legs
——are beautiful, and sugar,
——you taste like the coffers of Denmark
——built up from the black bottom
——of the molasses pot. 

But even though they didn’t say all that,
they should have noticed the way the shadows change:
drug dealers slipping out of their cars, metal on their hips or
only the spirits swaying to Quelbe music, asking,
why aren’t you dancing?

 


Louise Edwards is a third-year creative writing student at Oberlin College in Ohio.  Her work has been published in The Plum Creek Review and The Allegheny Review.  She also writes articles for and edits The Oberlin Review.

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