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Cover of issue #219

Current Issue: #219 Contested Migrations (Winter 2013)

Canadian Literature’s Issue 219 (Winter 2013) is now available. The issue features articles by Vinh Nguyen, Miriam Pirbhai, Rachel Bower, and others, as well as new poetry & book reviews.

Por Favor Muy Bonita Saraswattie Señorita, Por Favor

by Sasenarine Persaud

                                   Accepting an award I would have
refused (?) naively tripping memory on spotlight
charged with Gordon's flash of suicide or murders:
the historian who would live by the walkie talkie
died by it—a lone anti-hero-worshipping-anybody
poem, "Reply to Walter Rodney is dead" reproduced

                                   The sole female recalling the
rapes at Wismar—the '62 governor suspending the
constitution. British puttees patrolling streets
of father's frames: click click click. Water Street
in flames, the sky's white-black smoke a scent of
race for prizes I would have avoided (?).

                                   Jagan CIA-ed and chased from
office clutching Gandhi's ahimsa. Troops returning
to Empire, serpenteyed Harris returning to London
after Carnival, Shinebourne to the Last English
Plantation and Freddie stuttering around Mamma Dot's
uncertain Mother Sally stumbling from the podium,
someone mimicking:

My bonnie lies over the ocean
My bonnie lies over the sea
Bring back, bring back
О bring back my bonnie
To me to me ...

                                   In front the police commissioner
the colonels and the President on stage—
all rise his Excellency will arrive after all
gone back unborn unconcerned uncaring. But I would
puja the earth Saraswattie goddess of learning, Kali
goddess redtongued on every-crack-of-limb-on-ground

                                   pink petals from el Kama Sutra
de Español de Puerto Rico. Taste for grilled something
on the Lincoln Road Mall inside inside inside entering
behind reproduction's famous oil over the bar Rembrandt
or Rubens(?) whomever nude back buttocks in July

                                   or was it June's dangerous hips
recall bonita bonita bonita; not the two-table-waiter,
si we own the restaurant's space-song like Paris'. But
how could you mother—be controlled, faithful repressed
to poison on your lips? The bottle emptying the lives

                                   we will fulfil
our lips for touching lips tongues for thinging
tongues on hips' waterways English a decidedly
poor language for love I will come to the Fine
Arts Museum we will savour the flames of fingers

                                   NOW señorita here señorita
señorita the sitar player on your wrist my palm
aching for the instrument—one summer of music
another painting, several danceteaching will you
me a salsa tonight tonight tonight. Today only 24
hours days years all inconsequential unsequenced.

                                   The burger tested. Nothing the
waitstaff saying more assuring than your nodding—
yes we would eat any morsel from pudendum's pink
ixora cluster if you will part it agreeably, if you
will lend your Lorna-Book, notes in souls' margins:

I am going to find this space
Most of her poems do not give up (p.35)

                                   Señorita señorita muy bonita
señorita por favor por favor. Como esta usted?
Freddie promised. I didn't. El Hombre Puerto Rico
didn't ask. I do. Por favor por favor señorita
Saraswattie: bonita bonita señorita ah señorita!


This poem originally appeared in Canadian Literature #150 (Autumn 2014), Urquhart and Munro. (pg. 64 - 65)

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