puffs its red throat-fan—
a warning stolen from the burning cane-fields.
My love and I pose
beside a wall of wrought iron and hibiscus.
I hold a ball of string. A wild dog sniffs the gutter.
Kite made of palm ribs hangs on thorns of a lime tree.
A hurricane of scents—sweaty skin,
spitted pig, bleeding fish—bathes the island.
We suck on oranges. Juice runs down chin
and stings the corners of mouth, sea-rain
and seared flesh streaming through hair.
A maroon centipede undulates.
Sugarcane ash falls on skin.
Mark McKain’s poetry has appeared in many literary journals including The New Republic, Agni, Subtropics, The Journal, Cimarron Review, and elsewhere. He is the author of the chapbook Ranging the Moon and teaches screenwriting at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida.