Montego Bay

Montego Bay

I'm dancing barefoot, toes
digging into the sand, for you.
You're locked in small talk
with a Rasta lady but your eyes
are facing my direction, perhaps
looking out to sea, trailing the water's
silver quilt for a song or signs of rain.
I imagine it is me you find
washed up like a pirate's treasure,
rolling my hips, rubbing the sweat
on my neck, the top of my breasts in slow,
small circles, marking time with Marley
when a friend says, "You don't wine to Bob."
But Bob would understand
what a woman has to do to hold a man
in this one room of sea and sky.

Each semaphore is for your unraveling.
This sped-up gyration for the thirst
in your eyes; this slowed-down dip
and push back, roll and press forward
for the quiver in your lips,
their plumpness, their secrets, their grasp
on my nipple; this sideway rock and slither
for the girth of your hands; this slow skank backward
and forward for the smooth of your skin.

But it is not enough.
You'll remember your obligations: a wife
to return to, school fees to be paid, the high light
bill, a roof in need of repair, an ailing father,
the overgrown lawn, church on Sunday.
You'll turn your back and I'll continue to dance.


Copyright © Tanya Shirley and used by permission of the author.

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Recordings

Tanya Shirley

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1What I Learned in Grenada

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2To The Man Who Tends My Grandmother’s Grave

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3Let This Be Your Praise

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4Montego Bay

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5Standing Outside the Circle

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6Dining at Customs

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7Immaculate

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8A Chant Against Fear

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9Breathing Art

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10Where is God in All of This?

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11Negotiation

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12The Distance Between Us

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13Out of Body

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14Upon Meeting a Woman by the Name of Melba

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15My Christian Friend

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16Inheritance

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17A West Indian Poem

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18Roll Call

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19Grandpa in the Departure Lounge

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20Colour Me Dis, Colour Me Dat

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21Journey

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22The Power of Prayer

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23Some Lessons You Never Learn

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24Waiting for Rain

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25Guinep

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26Victorian Romance

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27Sunday Ritual

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28The Shifting Ground

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29Matie Shall not Conqueur

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30A Long Story

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