“Smashed Pumpkin” by Carlyon Blackman

Who is that girl idling on the back seat
of the Mazda 88, one shoe off,
the other clinging stubbornly to her
naked foot riding in a car with boys
though she had been warned if dawn’s chequered light
caught her unawares she ought to know there
would be no turning signal beyond the
drifting to the slow left lane where all roads
take off from zero, merge and intersect.

There must have been a moment coming out
the bend when she closed her eyes, let loose all
thrust she had to grinding brakes, shifting clutch,
choking throttle: Smashed Pumpkin, gravity
needs no proof of life greater than traction.


Carlyon Blackman is a Barbadian poet. Previous and forthcoming publications in print and online include Bim: Arts for the 21st CenturyThe Caribbean Writer, St. Somewhere Journal, tongues of the ocean, Poui Magazine (University of the West Indies, Cave Hill), and As Us journal. Carlyon was awarded second prize in the Frank Collymore Literary Endowment Awards (Barbados) in 2012 for a body of work entitled, Ars Poetica.

Image: Sarah Clark

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