When the world was built on sugar,

And all was mad, 

And Dahomey rituals turned over a French regime in the white capitalist bed of the Caribbean,

And black flesh sold like cheap, Chinese plastic,

And ancient foods criss-crossed unknown waters,  

And rape whitened brown and red flesh,

And Christianity found its stamp on peoples already one with God,

And brave, industrious maroons took to teal sea, marshy swamp, and lush mountains,  

I began my love with you. 

Copyright © 2012 Nichelle Calhoun

Monday Afternoon

On an overcast Monday afternoon,

After a tropical rain made a few cars turn into heavy traffic,

After me putting lipstick on in your driveway,

And spraying the last drops of perfume,

Your lips are already on my neck before I’ve had the chance to say hello,

My hands slip down into your palms,

I begin to write poems in your ear,

You banter with me because that is our talk,

I smile in sentences and answer back in rhyme,

I’ve missed you.

Copyright © 2012 Nichelle Calhoun


On a sandy bloated shore,

Under a peachening sky surrounded by a pool of ocean,

With giggling wave talk and roaring ocean speak,

Against coarse, rough orange sand,

Among a fleet of birds in party feathers,

Between multiple realities,

I want you to find yourself in love with me.

Copyright © 2012 Nichelle Calhoun

100 Goodbye Kisses

100 goodbye kisses,  and each one  outsweets the last.

A bundle of contrived farewells ride down rehearsed tear banks,

A thousand pretty words condensed into a shortened solemn speech.

Words which sounded so rational at conception,

In front of you are now impossible to repeat.


100 goodbye kisses, when I only want to start again.

For a flame is impossible to retire, when it’s hardly begun to dim.


100 goodbye kisses, and each one I swear to you is the last

But then you know I’ll miss you again, and that goodbye too shall pass….