The Idea of Her- Kwame Dawes

I cannot say enough about the poet whose work I’m sharing today. This award winning poet, author, professor, and co-founder of Calabash International Literary Festival  was born in Jamaica. Kwame Dawes, I just love him. Even his prose is poetic and he manages to evoke emotions in his work that makes me want to see the world through his eyes. But I suppose I have to settle for viewing it through his writing. Although I didn’t know it at the time, this is the piece that inspired my poem Invaded. Reading it reminded me of the emotion I was trying to capture in my own piece. He has managed to capture the lament of loss that fills your senses. 

 I hope that you all enjoy this piece and seek out more of his work. 


For days he carries an unending fatigue in him;
sleep he avoids at night to avoid the idea of her,
to avoid the way his body turns on its belly to grind
out the persistent longing. He wakes on the hour
to stare at the low glow of dogwood blossoms,
to sip water, to slake the graveled throat. In the day,
he walks in dreams, her breath against him, the dumb
circle of fog blunting any strength to turn away
the feel of her. She is in his skin, settled in him
though he cannot speak of it. He catches the scent
of passing women. His eyes assess the curve and trim
of their backsides. He compares, then resents
these futile infidelities—their impotence.
He can smell her in the air, a clinging fragrance


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