Braziliana loosened in the goddess

Pearl necklace on silk

Long brown finger tips at the nape
clasp pearls. Stroke
the shining rope, brush
breasts and belly
rounded with new life
as the brown arms fall.

Touch perfume. Press
pulses. Dangle
strings of beads
— sparkling blue crystals —
from lobes. Shake, drape
white cotton blouse. Fasten
shell buttons

Eyes in the mirror. See
her children sleep.

Long brown finger tips hold
the skirt waist while brown toes step in,
seven steps for seven white skirts.
The top one has blue threads. Flowers.

Strong fingers twist thick black hair:
blue, white, black, scarf, braid.
Shell comb. Pick up, push on
silver rings. Toes. Fingers. Wrists. Arms. Ankles.
All be-ringed. Toss
a shawl — blue-fringed. Catch it
on one shoulder. Bare the other — brown. Pin
at the waist the fish-shaped brooch. Open
the blue fan. Waft
fragrance of white roses.

Smile. Spin. Jewelry tinkles. Perfume warms.

Hear the music in the street.
A last long mirror-look. Breath comes
and goes
in waves. Brown feet move
with breaths, step with music, stop with
sky explosions.

Under fireworks glare
in aromas of
split melons,
warm molasses,
burning gunpowder,
fried fishes.

Long brown feet sink
across the sand. Into the sea. Cast
the roses. Fold
the fan. Drop it deep into a pocket
— blue-flowered pocket. Pull
out candles and a match. Float
the little lights onto the waves. Float
the entreaties. Murmuring
the prayer: Yemaya.


Seven salt-wet skirts cling to brown legs. Sway
in surf. Strong feet in sand, wide hips in motion,
eyes on the edge of the ocean globe.
Long brown arms fall skyward.

Finger tips touch the moon.