another earthquake has struck Puerto Rico this weekend
We walked the edges of our houses,
like water falling,
like the mind holds worry,
and O we saw mountains lean on seas
on streets. The mourning doves
are we. What we’ve made of ourselves.
Gut memory shakes this earth like a rattle,
storms this shelter, desperate for one
failure without the sting
against the skin of sky. Hold us from within,
come awake in our thunder
lay down tracks, the old world’s
soaked through to the bottom of the Caribbean.
Territory with no harbor, land with no
obituaries of those who had died. There were
motels haunted with eviction from our homes,
a catalogue of lives and land
over the first waves. Who knows why
to survive is sometimes a leap into madness.
Everyone warns us off the rocks.
We all watch for fire
camouflage, to disappear inside a stupor fog.
Come, meet the spirits. Before
the barest rune of ruin:
Neither savior, nor prey, but a plane. The one they jump from.
(With lines and fragments from Carmen Giménez Smith, Monica Youn, Mike Soto, Sonia Sanchez Natalie Scenters-Zapico, Donika Kelly, Joy Harjo, Eugenia Leigh, Dolores Durante, Rita Dove and Tina Chang)
There is part of me trapped in an ancient
English forest howling at the wonder of it all,
hawthorn and holly and silver birch huddled
together to hush the bluebells and foxglove,
but I am not allowed to touch a single dew-slicked
branch or petal because another part was dragged
from my tiny cottage on the outskirts of a Scottish
village after a nameless neighbor’s cow ceased to make
milk so here I am, stone on my chest, about to sink
down to the bottom of a loch but the worst part is
writing this poem in response to a white American
woman who wrote a whole book about bees and clover
to hide her screams while we drown together.
Angela María Spring (she/they) is the owner of Duende District and poetry editor at the Washington Independent Review of Books. You can find their forthcoming and most recent work in The Slowdown, A Public Space, Acentos Review, Catapult, LitHub, Tor.com, Muzzle Magazine, PANK, and Radar Poetry.