Issue 2 : Spring 2011

About Author:

  • Marcia Douglas

    Marcia Douglas was born in England and grew up in Jamaica. She is the author of the novels, Madam Fate (Soho, 1999) and Notes from a Writer's Book of Cures and Spells (Peepal Tree Press, 2005) as well as a collection of poetry, Electricity...




A boy on the Babylon bus to country throw his empty bag-juice

through the window. His mother floor so clean, you

could eat rice and peas off it

and she home-train him good because he know better

than to soil up his good-shirt with bag syrup after it wash and

bleach so long on the zinc.


But listen judgment.


The juice-bag land in the Garden of Jah,

covering the mouth of an angel’s trumpet flowers

three days and three nights it stay, till

a breeze of remembrance blow it out to the beach where it

swallow salt-water,

a piece of red thread and

the condom that Roderick, the coconut wata man, did dash-wey after he


Up by the road, Ras Haile-I on his bicycle chants this song, boil your wata/ if you have to

And the bag with Roderick juice still in it, catch

a blue wave and ride froth at the tail-end of a fisherman’s boat

out to a school of rainbow-colour fish, one of them

so foolish as to yawn.


Later a woman named after a book of hunger,

pick up the dead fish wash up on the beach,

slits its side,

to clean it for her children’s dinner.


boil your wata/ if you have to


That’s when she find it Roderick’s condom.

In the fish-belly.

“But see here!”


Somewhere the juice bag still floats in the sea wondering

at the fool-foolishness of fish and

Roderick babymother searches for a piece of red thread and

a boy’s mother rakes up mango leaf and makes the yard a holy scripture.

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