Naima

Original Text: 
Gold Indigoes (Durham, NC: Carolina Wren Press, 2000).
1Naima, I should perfume my letters,
2confuse spices with my ink,
3spirit tea from orange peels and sugar....
4gal, too beautiful,
5make a fool preacher
6burn his Bible.
7I know the lime or vinegar taste
8of leaves in rain,
9but I crave the criminal flavour of red
10wine sick with magenta lipstick.
11Naima, I shake like rain,
12wanting not to want.
13I'd settle for your portrait,
14some static homage beautiful but --
15watercolours either touch into flame
16or moisture's acid consumes the images.
17Naima,
18I should....
19Lawd, have mercy,
20Lawd, have mercy, gal.
21Our poetry will close
22either in flames or flowers.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2004
Special Copyright: 

<b>This poem cannot be published anywhere without the written consent of George Elliott Clarke or the Carolina Wren Press permissions department.</b>