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Slight pepper

December 24, 2009

By: soyluv

One of those classic
Trinidadian oxymorons.
Slight pepper
like saying, cut
me please. But not too deep,
just so it hurts, just enough.
A trickle of blood
will do. Take care,
don’t sever any major arteries.
Just a drop or two, to burn
and singe one’s tastebuds.

Slight pepper–
a term that is also the earmark
of a Trini who has been away
too long, they say. Now estranged
from country and culture,
culinarily speaking that is.
Buh like yuh cyah handle
de heat or wha?

Not true I say.
I scream,
I have never
liked pepper anyway.

A scotch bonnet
simmers slow
gliding adrift
in a pot. I watch it swell
and steam and sweat.

Don’t you burst now,
don’t you burst.


soyluv is Soyini Ayanna. She is a graduate of Barry University and the Stonecoast MFA program—where pen tuh paper was started, as a student. She reads (way) more than she writes and sometimes thinks way too much, consumed with unraveling the mysteries of people and the universe (fuh real). She has work on racialicious, in The Caribbean Writer, Black Renaissance Noire, tongues of the ocean and in The Guidebook.

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