by Danielle Legros Georges

I was away
at school

when my mother called.
Duvalier ale!

She was pacing forth
and back

I suspect. Turn on
the TV she yelled.

So I did. And there
was the scene,

a car moving
through the dark,

and through
the glinting


and Michèle
bearing a cigarette

in her right hand
over a bent and

supple wrist. Or
is it an insouciant

wrist. Or a melo-
dramatic wrist

sending fuck you
to the cameras

to the crowds

fuck you too. Or
is it a wrist

to fend off fear
with a capital

F, the panic
of what the fuck

is happening
here, the dread

of a figurative cliff
after which

the car
will spin, will

the precipice

of the world
they have known

and ridden

In the back seat:
the baby and the body-

guard or a General
or someone.

Perhaps they know

Perhaps they know

Guileless. Guilty
at once.

The baby knows,

the car’s speed
the what he has been

born to.
Not yet.

grips the wheel

with his hands
of death.

His job is to drive.
To just drive.

An American plane
awaits them.

It is always
an American

plane. To take them
from the heat

of their making.
Of the Americans’

making. A cigarette
burns in the closed

car. Outside:
the purple pre-dawn.

Gone: the furs and tropical
fridges for them.

Gone: the electricity
for green aquariums.

Gone: the golden gowns,
the turbans.

The flight
from Port-au-Prince

to Paris. The water
beading on the plane

window. The water
being swept away

by the wind.

Published on May 9, 2023