Resurrection

Jovanté Anderson

Gangsters use embalming fluid to kill
The Jamaica Star

And on this, the ninth night,
when you gather by the sanctity of rum,
pouring slow to bless the thirsty earth
and light the path to places you cyaah see,
you will sigh,                                     ………………. happy to be sending me, cantankerous spirit,

on my way                                          …..to other elsewheres,

places where you don’t have to worry about gunman
or duppy or duppy-makin’ gunman like me.

But all praise to formaldehyde,
………………………………………….to methanol,
and phenol,
……………………………………………………………………………..and glutaraldehyde,
guardians of this gateway,
that keep my body                              still.

Bless this tremblin’,                           this smoke that make me want to
eat a man alive,                                   that make me vomit up this eulogy you write for me.

I have been dying all my life, but I am still here.

And I don’t care how you see me body twisting into the stinging dirt,
fingers digging in panic to find a place to rest, don’t care how you see me breath a blow,
short and quick, eyes escaping into upside-down worlds, full of my own excited demons,
don’t care how you see me strip di wood from every coffin to build this house, to make life
out of nothing,

if man nuh dead, nuh call him duppy.

notes on loving a hurricane, which is to say, a natural disaster

you cannot love this body until you have learned to love the resilience of grass,
wild in the insolence of abandonment,
breathing quick through the Kingston concrete.

you cannot love this body until you have learned to love the gutted mountains,
angry at the things they have endured,
screaming in the language of brokenness,
convulsing.

you cannot love this body until you have learned to love the tyranny of potholes,
ravaging the order of your beauty, your
stillness, stubborn with the music of disaster.

when i wash the 6 o’clock sun off my shoulders this evening,
and whittle this tired self down into whispers of nothing,
leave me be.
let me soak
in the comedy of it all,
let me laugh at the loneliness of this body,
and the strangeness
of lovers.


Jovanté Anderson is a final year student at Lafayette College, currently pursuing a double major in Anthropology and Sociology, as well as in English with a concentration in Literature. He is originally from Harbour View, St Andrew. As a young poet, he is always trying to learn more about his craft and how he can use it to impact the world, or at least, make a mockery of it. He spends his everyday navigating always-interesting, mostly-amusing American spaces that do not always feel like home, but always feels like adventure. After graduating from college, he hopes to pursue a PhD in Cultural Anthropology.  He was born on February 15, 1996.

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