I learned a sports car, red, muscular open roads,
a fit body, a smile, are reliable as a visa,
a path to understand the tears of a woman,
as I understood menstruation or perms:
their business is mostly inexplicable, crazy, and
nothing to do with me. I learned to be able
to say, â€œYou did not come? Not sure whyâ€”
I did. Try harder, next time.â€ As if I was
the reasonable one. I learned I would die
someday, and the fast car will get you there
long before death, and while you wait
in the darkness, you throw a big fat party.
I learned all this from my father before he died.
~ Kwame Dawes
Kwame Dawes (Jamaica) is the author of over thirty books of poetry, prose, drama and criticism and is one of the Caribbeanâ€™s leading contemporary writers. He is Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner and a Chancellorâ€™s Professor of English at the University of Nebraska. He is Associate Poetry Editor for Peepal Tree Press in the UK.Â Among his recent publications are â€˜Wheelsâ€™ (Peepal, 2011) and â€˜Duppy Conqueror: new and selected poemsâ€™ (Copper Canyon Press, 2013).