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Homeboy Back & Blue

Arima has a moon that's a golden coin of promise tossed through a blue-black pool of sparkling sequins

Arima has a one-armed basketball guard who never misses a shot

Arima has guys who manage "Gimme a dollar" into a challenge, a plea, a bargain, a put down, a greeting, and a joke

Arima has innumerable independent entrepreneurs who vend the same goods at identical indecent prices

Arima has spicy boiled corns and blood pudding and doubles and mango-Julie and sugar apples and medium-jelly coconuts and more boiled-corn and float'n'accra and curried chatainge and sweet payme and even more boiled-corn

Arima has hundreds of ever-busy pool tables charging fifty cents per game

Arima has no car rental agencies; Port of Spain has car rental agencies, but no cars

Arima has all those formerly 'Hey, Shorty!' boys who, in the five years past, grew up six-foot-four tall over you

Arima has endless people who have exactly the same questions for a returned local, or maybe

Arima has the most ambitious biographers that practice on homeboys just arrived back

Arima has - like every other city, town, or hamlet in my Trinidad of population 1.3 million - ten political parties competing for majority in fifty available seats

Arima has hours of shimmering heat which go by one day at a time

Arima has amorous lizards

Arima has eight hundred and sixteen persons who hail you by name when you cannot remember theirs

Arima now has, already lying broken on various waysides, three hundred plus promises to send back down size twelve sneakers

Arima has a store-owner that kicked his since-Moses-was-a-boy employee who dared to Strike & Picket against a salary of twenty-four dollars a six-day week

Arima has a neighbor's rooster that begins its rusty wakeup crowing at three-thirty every morning

Arima has no postage stamps on Saturdays, and most distressfully

Arima does NOT have you, my love.

(c) Kelvin Christopher James