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King James Reggae
The mixed multitude kills time in Kingston airport.
Outbound flight delayed by bus wreck on the road.
The last paper on the newsstand
Sports a white girl's naked breasts.
A tropical depression's turned the Trade Wind to the east.
Our short hop across the island passed through turbulence.
All week the downing of the innocents shook heads:
The Gulf is an abyss:
How many dead? Whose fault? Who swears?
A question thumbs its Holy Bible in the heat.
What is one man to do faced with such wickedness?
Such wickedness as lies
cannot conceal? It had been
Twenty years beneath blue white red yellow stars
Since ball lightning pulsed while turtles climbed the beach.
The two-lane coastal highway reeked of cedar.
Hempfires whispered to the full moon,
Fields of dancers chugged to train songs
And old dreads, departed, swaying heads
Marked batswings in the air.
Even now the Sunday radios hosanna.
Human nature is one nation in the darkness.
There a bearded man stepped toward me in the shack light.
He peered into my face:
"Do you believe in the Most High?"
I could answer:
"Something larger and outside me."
Shops do business. Children fidget on hot benches.
Older transients form a long queue at the bar.
Some change dollars; some write postcards; most
Just watch the airport monitors for word
When they'll be leaving where we are.