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Postcard from Bonaire
Matthew 5
Barbara Nickel  (bio)

Here lies a coast
with postcard slaves
harvesting postcard
salt in wheelbarrows,
piles of it like mashed
potatoes please
pass the salt.

Rows of slave huts
painted orange to match
the obelisk that
told merchant
ships far off what grade
of salt was here.
You rare and precious

salary,
you centrepiece
unseen in the broth,
in the body oh
the ways of you
in the clearing
where the deer come

to lick. Here
are afternoons
too hot for anything
but on my knees
inside a hut so small and plain
it could be for a dog;
here lies a coast of tears.

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