I miss Haiti.
I miss Haiti like a corpse miss its soul
The longer they’re apart
The more the corpse loses all senses
So it withers,
It rejects itself. And the soul doesn’t know who.
The longer I’m away from my country
The more I lose my senses
Then my life.
So I wither,
My juice dries
The culture rejects me. The country doesn’t know who.
Whenever I go back
They ask “yoh watsap…mann”
Demand if I’m American. Force it upon me
“enbyen, ou gentan ameriken, manno” “ou bliye Kreyol ou?” **
I get sick.
No. Really, I always get sick when I go back. My immune system has weakened
Foreign lands have a way of telling you
To relax your arms. Let your guards down. You’re safe.
There’s a better future for you, here.
They wrap their hands around your shoulders.
Walk into the sunset,
From your country,
That they’re burning, behind you.
This country. Ayiti.
Has an impenetrable immunity
Shakable, but impenetrable.
But you wouldn’t understand
You’re a foreigner.
The country loved me. Caressed me. Raised me.
Planted seeds in me.
Relocated overseas. Deafened myself to its screams of my name
Then write songs about destiny
And where I’m supposed to be.
I fertilized and grew these seeds into fruits
To bring as an offering of gratitude.
“Mom, look what I made!”
“Pitit mwen, pou kisa w te kite m?”
*My child, why did you leave me?*
**well then, you’re already American, Charles? You forgot your Haitian Creole?
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