Two Poems by Miguel Caldas

The Question

It was night and we were drinking in the garden by the church.

I looked at my friend and asked him,

– “Di, are you always aware that you’re black?”

– “No, not really. Sometimes I think about it, if someone is weird with me in a bar, or on the street … people looking at you funny, know what I mean”?

– “Yeah”

– “Then I think, is this because I’m black?

But you don’t know.

Not really.

It can be for so many reasons

Yeah; but I think about it.”


Cat

The girl stood in front of the car screaming:

“No!

No!

No!”

There was a thud,

and then nothing.

Her friend stared

as she shouted at the driver:

“Real nice M’am! Really, really nice!”

I looked behind me, to the cat in the road.

It was jumping and somersaulting spasmodically

In total silence

pirouetting in the air,

almost never touching the tarmac,

an acrobat of pain.

Not at all what you expect from a cat that was run over.

But there he was,

airborne

contorted

kinetic

hurt.

Coiling and uncoiling at lunchtime.


Miguel Caldas was born in Mozambique in 1972, but resides in Lisboa, Portugal, where he lives with his wife, daughter and a turtle.

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