I take no issue with identity politics; but here's a manifesto for the imagination.

On Not Writing As A West Indian Woman

For those who jumped ship and drowned because the herding of people was intolerable

If you get my drift. She,
not containing oceans,
nor a spice triangle,
won’t boast that cinnamon
could launch femme announcements
over the bounding main:
set course for my rich shores.
No allure for sailors.
Blackout drapes in her home.

If you stick with me. She,
hasn’t cooked cassava,
nor become a mother;
might gatecrash Carnival
flaunting last year’s costume
and fall down in the dance;
rack up a huge phone bill
louder than a toucan,
vexed and still calling home.

She push the boat out. She,
on a far-flung causeway
prisoners handbuilt, ice-clawed,
take her pants down, rime-clawed
over sunken warcraft,
pissing into the wind,

Birthcries repeatedly
new, self pull out self, self
issuing that self home.

from Dark and Unaccustomed Words (Egg Box, 2012), Vahni Capildeo 2012, used by permission of the author

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