Two poems by Dean Atta

April Evening in Cyprus

Your grandfather draws
your attention to the news;
the story, a black flamingo
has landed on the island.

An expert on screen
explaining it is the opposite
of an albino. Too much
melanin
, he says. Camera pans

the salt lake full of pink
but the eye is drawn
to that one black body
in the flamboyance.
 
 
 
Vegans Inc.
after Brian Waltham

We’re a righteous lot or that’s how we’re perceived. Ringing ahead, asking about ingredients. Not a simple “no thank you” when offered something we cannot eat but a declaration “I am a vegan.” A badge of honour, a t-shirt we wear with pride. We may as well put it on our CV; you can’t work with us without hearing about it. Our grandparents think we are ridiculous and say so. Our friends think we are ridiculous but stay quiet. We do not know how to stay quiet. We believe we are saving the Earth one meal at a time.
 
 
 
Dean Atta‘s debut collection, I Am Nobody’s Nigger, published by the Westbourne Press, was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize. He is currently working on his second poetry collection The Black Flamingo. Twitter @DeanAtta