This was a time when
I dared not kill insects in graveyards,
nor wander around dark corners at night,
when shadows roamed
the space between my loneliness
to be loved.
My grandmother feared ghosts. I mocked her.
Alone, I learned that despair is a graveyard.
Like her, I sprinkled salt after dark
each verse a charm
the kind of ghosts
who, like rain, seep into crack-riddled homes.
On many restless nights I stared at the ceiling
watching my rage hammer dents into zinc
catching the rust of weathered nails
on my tongue.
At fourteen I craved simple things:
my parents talking tenderly to me,
syllables soft as Q-tips,
and always with their hands around my neck
like an amulet.
There was a stream in the valley behind my house.
There, I baptised my needs in the shallows
and hummed a sadness stretched and deep.
It was the way I learned
with a calm so still,
it could have been the eye of a hurricane.
~ Juleus Ghunta
Juleus Ghunta is a Jamaican. He has a B.A. in Media from the University of the West Indies, Mona (2010). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in BIM: Arts for the 21st Century, Bookends (Jamaica Observer), Poetry Pacific, Susumba’s Book Bag and Poui: Cave Hill Journal of Creative Writing.