High Yellow

by Hannah Lowe

High Yellow

Errol drives me to Treasure Beach It’s an old story – the terrible storm

swerving the bleak country roads the ship going down, half the sailors

I think about what you will be, your mix drowned, half swimming the

White, black, Chinese and your father’s slate waves, spat hard on shore

Scottish-Englishness. We cross the Black River Smashed crates, bodies

where they shipped cane sugar and molasses choking on the dark sand

upstream, past a sign One man stands: What is this place?  A woman

for Lover’s Leap. The air stinks of sulphur in the trees, one hand raised  

Errol drops me at a green gate. Be safe? This is how the Scotsmen came

Behind the house, the narrow beach why the black people have red hair

of dark sand, the seawater warm and grey Or the other story – no storm

I am deep before I know it, groundless no wrecked ship. Just the miles

The swell stops the sickness of cane fields and mulatto children named

Under a crooked tree, perched on sea-rocks McDonald or McArthur for

two fishermen in torn denims, smoking  their fathers, who owned them

I dry in sun. They pass, turn, come close Nothing grows at Lover’s Leap

They’ve rust afros, gold faces splashed with freckles where two runaways

one edged in muscle, one with eyes cornered by their master, held hands

like razors. What you want here they say and jumped down into the clouds