Innocent Etchings on Manhood

I wrote the fol­low­ing poem when I was 21.  I am 33.  There is always love.  There is a heart skip­ping beats… There is for­give­ness. And far and above all else, there is a lit­tle girl.

Inno­cent Etch­ings on Manhood

I always car­ried a pic­ture of you in my mind,
A por­trait drawn with the blunt edge of Cray­ola.
That box of 64—a palette of infi­nite pos­si­bil­i­ties.
A blank slate.   A world hidden.

Always a gift;

Wrapped with the hope that the great inquisition

Would worry a manila.   And sail its four cor­ners,
In much the same way I wor­ried the hem,
Trail­ing behind my mother’s dress.

Armed to the teeth with questions.

She was alto­gether lovely, all-powerful and ever-present.

I had no need for Polaroids or can­did moments
She was here.   But you were…

Unat­tain­able, and as yet unde­fined.
A gnaw­ing hunger, fed by the chasm of alien­ation
and separation.

Going back to the draw­ing board, years too late,
I found Cray­ola crum­bled.   A habit broken.

In its wake,

A mime’s pen­man­ship.
Whose flow and move­ment held all truth.
I had another close encounter.
The pen was might­ier than the eye.

Now I per­fected your stance,
Shaded in the irises, tex­tured the lips,
And made you smile.

You are nei­ther lovely, pow­er­ful or present.

Yet, I patiently await an introduction.

Copy­right © 1999, 2011, Tynisha C. Leon

The fea­tured photo is all Bri­anna McCarthy and her Big Fish in Detail.  As I posted this poem, it was this image that came to mind and Brianna’s words via ARC mag­a­zine that the end result, did ‘not look human.’  I sim­ply love things as they are—no judge­ment! And I love this—the poetry and the piece and the peace.



Hi there, I’m Tynisha C. Leon, writer, West Indian, mango-lover, founder and Editor-in-chief of DASHEEN mag­a­zine — the online des­ti­na­tion where cul­ture feeds imag­i­na­tion. Join the cul­ture chat on Face­book and Twit­ter! If you’d like to con­tribute, drop me a line here, I’d love to read/see your unique views! Bless up!
Tynisha Camelitta (95 Posts)

Hi there! I’m Tynisha Camelitta, writer, West Indian, mango-lover, host­ess & passion-preneur @ DASHEEN mag­a­zine + Camelitta INK! Co. DASHEEN is proud to be the online des­ti­na­tion where cul­ture feeds imag­i­na­tion. If you’d like to con­tribute to this com­mu­nity, drop me a line here, I’d love to read/see you. Bless up!


  1. Love this! I so enjoy your poetry.

    • So sweet to me! For you, I may just post more. :)

  2. I think one of the great­est things you can do is look back on some­thing that you have writ­ten. You see how you have changed, your per­cep­tion of the world has changed and you get to expe­ri­ence another part of your­self all over again. I love the unusual com­bi­na­tion of words and I think you were def­i­nitely a hel­luva writer at 21.…just as now. Wonderful



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