Beautiful, radiant women;
ageless, chocolate-covered women,
spilling infectious laughter over dishes
bathed in rosemary and olive oil
and sweet, buttered corn.
Coconut wines, vanilla milks.
Handmade dresses of silk.
The scents of strong cocoa butter
sting my eyes,
and I smile.
Steam and smoke encircle
a table surrounded by mint
and we censor ourselves
as the children roll by.
Tickled, sheer, powdery clouds
rising from the kitchen...
The memory of an old friend's sensuous
I blush when no one can see.
I think my father and grandmother,
whom I miss terribly,
wonder if they're proud
when they look down on me.
I freshen my drink, and step out into warm rain,
which glues my silk to every curve of me.
I search my wrists for the marks of chains,
and a satisfied
calm settles over me.