Poem

The Kola nut from Africa, Nigeria I think

Coffee came too

Stimulants from trees

It must be hard to stay awake in that heat

When I went up a mountain in Ethiopia,

The villages blended into trees, into other villages

The women with huge cords of wood on their backs

            Smiling as they worked

The men lolled against trees, in the shade, grounded

            Scowling slightly as they sat

Is it bad to think of the gender dynamics of lions

Is it bad to talk of Nigeria and Ethiopia in the same poem?

Probably.

But the gravity, warm heavy solid home of Africa

You feel it completely when you set foot

View lyric

Even me, even North, in Egypt.

Africa is Africa

Though its Kola nut has been transformed into molecules in cans in Atlanta, placed there by machines

And then shipped back across every sea on earth

Distributing mostly water and metal