Speech Club. Sand City. Japan. Members say I’m intelligent
for a Jamaican. In my first speech, I invoke Maya Angelou:
‘There’s no greater pain than bearing an untold story inside.’
Inside is a black verse. Black like the womb of a deep river,
too black for this porcelain room. My evaluator says speeches
should make her laugh.
Dear Speech Club. For some, the best medicine is insulin.
For others, morphine sprinkled on shattered bones. In a
migrant–filled sea, it’s the hand of God slamming shut
the mouths of sharks.
Somewhere in Sand City, there’s a blackface bar.
Red–lipped pickaninnies hang on its walls.
~ Juleus Ghunta
Juleus Ghunta is a Jamaican peace advocate living in Yonago, Japan. Ghunta’s poetry has appeared in The Missing Slate, Interviewing the Caribbean, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, DoveTales, Moko, BIM, POUi, and elsewhere. He was shortlisted for the 2015 Small Axe Poetry Prize.