Wandeka Gayle



I find myself

thinking of you

easy like

how the taste

of sweet sops

comes back to me

in this foreign place

with no mango blossoms

in the summertime.

I like how

your image forms

itself now

secret like

the fingers of light

only I can see

when I

lower my lids,

my fingers on your full lips,

turned upwards like so,

waiting for my kisses

that would be

perfect like

the wind ballooning

our dresses that time we

twirled to salsa

in the downpour,

gyrated to reggae

in the dark,

sweet like

rainwater on your skin,

slick and warm

under my tongue,

your brown skin spreading

into mine

smooth like

the cries spilling

out of you

out of me.

I imagine your hair,

fanned out across my breasts

feather like

our hearts skipping

in tandem

as we lay there

naked like

how I feel now

walking without you

up cobble steps

to this temple

that dares banish

these thoughts

from my holy place.

I gather them

and tuck them


in my bosom

safe like

where I sit

here in this pew

god like.



Wandeka Gayle is a Jamaican writer, visual artist, and the recent Visiting Assistant Professor of Fiction at Southern Utah University. She will be on faculty as an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Spelman College beginning in August 2019. She has received writing fellowships from Kimbilio Fiction, the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, and the Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. Gayle, a former journalist, received her PhD in English with a Creative Writing (Fiction) concentration from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Transition, Pleiades, Kweli, Solstice Literary Magazine, midnight & indigo, Interviewing the Caribbean, The Sunday Gleaner, the Southwestern Review, Rigorous, aaduna, Susumba, Moko, and others.

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