Poems by Andre Bagoo (Trinidad)
Published in The Ofi Press issue 42
Poems from BURN (Shearsman Books, 2015)
How could a man fit in such a space?
Bellowed legs, lungs, cellophane wings
Scratching paint off plaster, flight of loneliness.
How could a man take so long
To know? What did not fit, how could he?
See. The man – the mirror, the shell
The imaginary me, climbing into
A canvass that could not be.
Maybe when we die, the space we occupy contracts,
Maybe the universe gets smaller.
I looked into sea mirrors
and saw you.
No poem came.
Look long enough and you will see
a flame on a gas stove –
the wrong face flowering.
The Spiral Staircase
My dad built a spiral staircase.
He made it of steel.
He took a pole from an old fire station.
The firemen would use it to slide
He welded steps to it.
He made rails using grills from gas stoves.
They look like the twigs of birds nests.
They make the shape of weird spines.
The staircase is the only thing that connects us now,
my father upstairs in his room praying.
As he sits among white mosquito nets and bibles,
I punch the punching bag. I work out
what I cannot work out.
I walk up the stairs,
on steps he singed for me,
to say, for the day, goodbye.
Andre Bagoo is a poet and journalist working in Trinidad. His second book of poems, BURN, is published by Shearsman Books. Find out more here: http://andrebagoo.tumblr.com/
Images: "Smoke and Mirrors" by Moyann Brenn, "Blank Canvas" by Evelyn Flint and "Euston Tap" by Dan Brown.