After Hurricane María, you spin in a daze:
punch drunk from the fetid fumes of the generator,
but you have made a decision to eat, live.
You leap onto a dark tan bra that
is wildly flapping on the clothesline,
eager to gather something sweet
and bring it to the surface.
And yet, there is nothing there but a
bare circle of cotton.
How the hurricane galloped away
with the flowers, triggering a vanishing act.
Well, where is the magician’s wand
to bring back the canopy of blossoms?
It must be in the wind of loss,
along with the why and because.
There is no way to tell you
about the aftermath’s slow cruelty;
it is a tale that claws cell by cell,
leaving crunched wings to litter this earth.
Dorsía Smith Silva is a Professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. Her poetry has been published in several journals and magazines in the United States and the Caribbean, including New Reader Magazine, Portland Review, Heartwood Literary Review, Stoneboat, Nassau Review, Shot Glass, and POUI: Cave Hill Journal of Creative Writing. She is also the editor of Latina/Chicana Mothering and the co-editor of six books.
Bee on Clothesline illustration by C.B. Auder (magazine collage, 9 x 8 inches).