My Sweet Gorilla

She went through my things
searching searching
searching for symbols
for no trust
not knowing the alphabet
to read soul.

Computer files violated
bytes read unexplained
writing mixed with notes
letters, thoughts, books to come
an artist unexplained.
Random disorganisation
yet organised mosaic of life.

She behaved to me
as if she was she
jealousy uncontrolled
possessiveness not love
control not freedom
no listening, no understanding
could not listen to herself.
She knows.
That’s all … when you are perfect.

Did she have a life?
Yet she must have a soul.

An then as I lay in that bed
moving on from not having died
depending on others
except for my voice and my thoughts
she found the picture.
She found her smiling face
the two daughters
mirth, hope, joy.
Nothing was hidden
I told her she was my special friend.

She now knew the voice
that English accent that always asked
to keep me alive
"How are you Daniel?
Hang on now. You Hear?
We all love you.
I’ll call you back."

I was confronted
picture in her hand
waved jealously anger rampant
Did I betray you?
"She’s black! Black!
I could tell by the voice
and here is her picture.
You have no taste …
English, Jamaican it doesn’t matter.
See how black she is.
She looks like a gorilla."

Woman it must feel nice to take advantage
(came my voice from the body cast)
I can give you words
but will you listen?
Your mother’s black
Your father’s from the Andes.
Was he Inca? But you speak Spanish!
Of all your sisters, brothers, family
you’re the clearest.
Your grandfather was white.
You keep hiding your looks, your heritage.
How much do you spend
to keep the sun’s truth
from spoiling your success
creams, doctors, treatments,
beautiful and white at all costs.
But I’ve seen your pictures,
still African at sixteen
like Kittitian girl going to school.

There is nothing to explain
it’s a friendship born in one day
it hasn’t died.
She writes, I answer
I write, she phones
she is the brother and sister I never had.
We have soul.
She kept mine alive
I did not let myself die.

You say my friend …
yes … my friend
She has a name you know!
She looks like a gorilla?
… you know what?
Gorillas are a specie in extinction.
I have saved one.
There is nothing to explain
she came unexpected … unasked
as I walked my forest.
Friend she was and friend remained.
Platonic commitment?
Commitment for true.

Today what soul sister was
wife might be
and little smiling gorillas
maybe a little clearer
will preserve the race
preserve the smiles
in that picture.

COPYRIGHT Daniel Nicastro Basseterre Nov.6,2003

About the author

Danielni Castro