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The Complete Cinnamon Bay Sonnets
by Andrew Kaufman

1.

Calabash, mahoe, sea grapes, and manchineel
are trees I learned from Skoka Zumi, who brought
us, unasked, each day what fruits or flowers he might
buy conversation with, and an excuse to steal

toward us when we walked the beach in the moonlight
or dawn I love. Filth crusted, with hints
of dreadlocks, solicitude, and an account
that switched from growing up near the next

beach on a dirt floor, to an orphanage
he escaped in Kenya, to jumping a merchant
ship in Port Said, his patois changed

to New York street slang. And all this
for what? If kingdom come, and hand join hand
in starlight, the lost will still be lost.

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
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