Cape Verdean Blues by Shauna Barbosa

You kiss the back of my legs and I want to cry. Only / the sun has come this close, only the sun.
— Shauna Barbosa, from “GPS,” Cape Verdean Blues
“Pamódi, pamódi, Vovo wants to know why I
don’t visit. She’s yelling at me in Kriolu and I love how it sounds to be loved so fiercely in another language. I hear words I know and ones I don’t in the voice of the only woman
who braided my hair, the only woman who held my hand in her baby-soft skin. I want to ask Vovo how she’s doing, but she doesn’t know any English. Across the room, one woman
mistakenly teaches another to say, I miss you, have a good
day.” — Shauna Barbosa, Cape Verdean Blues
My poetry reading this month is Cape Verdean Blues by Shauna Barbosa. The Pulitzer Prize winner Kendrick Lamar said that “These words feel like experience. Some are personal, most are enlightening, but all connect. Connect on a higher level. A spiritual level.”
If this book is a rounded shape I would put it on a vinyl player and listen to it while sipping Porto. Pleasures, pains, and sweetness.
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