Haiti burns her own house

then returns to inhabit the ashes.

In Port Au Prince, it's said

Time does not pass,

Her costumes change.


Old men, invisible, wear away;

Young men, they, die violently;

Women endure violence, and die

Giving birth to young men,

Knowing the violence of men

Not grown old.


She may grow old, if

She hides beneath a woven wicker basket,

Singing "bai-whei-whei" as she walks,

Walks eternally along the rues

And grand avenues of a city burning.


Then again, she might change costumes,

A dozen times each day,

And play the fool, fashion her hair

like Marie Antoinette,

Turn, set her house aflame;

And return to inhabit the ashes.