Poetry: Ameerah Arjanee

Home Sweet Home

I have never written of my country before.
The stranger outside the postcard window.

Schoolgirls in uniforms of pawpaw green,
capitalist plum, walking the sunnysunnysunny streets,
scaring me, those pretty, computerized fish.

The faces of brothers on Indian motorbikes,
with skin of rubbed ocean, each a tiny, shiny whirlpool.

The streets of Rose-Hill smelled of
green frying things, the sweetness
of pink foam, plain skies and sugar cars.

They honked at me
as I was engulfed
by the tidal wave
a small society is.

‘Welcome to Paradise Island’
‘Welcome to Paradise Island’
‘Welcome to Paradise Island’

Paradise pickling me, over and over again.
The God of small, cruel things.
Indian spice; fake Chinese food, fake Chinese goods.

Multiculturalism. Open-mindedness.

Let me take your picture: bleached straw hat in
a museum; chemical pineapple balancing
precariously in your exotic dancing-girl hand.

Do not be what you are.
Be a picture, a pretty,
colourful, dead picture

Sugar cars rush, melt in your heart, make you sick.

You wished to unlearn swimming, to
be a tortoise flying over the lace to somewhere,
armed with a new language and an old accent.

Island, beautiful moth of salt, lotus of
coins, beach of childhood, you tortured me

and I loved you,
I love you to
death and

Ameerah Arjanee is an 18-year-old poet and first year university student from Mauritius. Her work has appeared in numerous online publications, including Magma Poetry, and in 2010 she won theFoyle Young Poetscompetition.