Solar Chariot

ISHION HUTCHINSON

When noon hits the marl into a valve,
hissing fangs of cane flags between the bend—
lattice blinding shutters and stunting kites,
he comes out with his staff to the square,
fox blades of croton leaves in his red
turban; a few half-hidden pencils. He kneels,

chalks a circle outside the Chinese
shop, then grounds his staff into its raw
middle and revs with rasp fuzz
his lucent transport;

bare feet clapping

brakes and clutch, turban shaking
through the ditches he drives to reach

where he is going. The sun works
heaven into the shop’s grille. He combusts
from his lotus position, a parson’s
hot apocrypha, crying blood down
on everything:
‘Move yuh rass!’ Blazing: ‘Get behind mi, Satan!’

as he springs from his halo,
like smoke in the heat of harvest,
sheaves scattering to the high clouds
that ripple with rain squalls; burnt foil he vanishes
without gathering, the ashpit of noon,
for us, staring on, at a spur of Hermon.


Ishion Hutchinson was born in Port Antonio, Jamaica. He is the author of two poetry collections: Far District and House of Lords and Commons. He is the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Whiting Writers Award, the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award, the Joseph Brodsky Rome Prize and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, among others.

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