The Crab Road
Leaving Trinidad we drove west
to find the tobacco fields,
fringed a green Caribbean
filled with weed swells.
That week we’d spent punch drunk
on rum sun, Havana Club No.7,
a bottle a day bursting our eyes to starlight,
could not prepare us for that drive.
We were making good time-
before the oil stopped,
soviets fallen, sugar and cigars
decaying in the fields-
careering with cicadas in lime groves,
plantain and banana bulging green.
We sensed the scents for miles
before we came upon
a seafood salad boiling
in massive waves of air,
a mirage of pink tar, hovering.
There was carnage there
but still they came,
small robotic armies
spawning from the woods,
impulse driven to the sea.
We braked hard but the locals
knew better, better to accelerate,
wind up the windows and sauna than hear
their crunching screams under hot tyres.
Instants before annihilation they’d rise,
pulling up to full height,
as big as two hands, claws akimbo,
snapping in mimed shows of hubris.
We crawled for miles
weaving through their flesh.
For days the stench stayed with us,
that hour on the crab road.