If you ask me why I left Puerto Rico,
I would tell that you that it wasn’t because
Hurricane María left me with a bloated album of waiting
for the black black blackouts
to skip between the trees. It wasn’t because
the roofs unfurled and the doors retreated to hollows
somewhere in the sky. It wasn’t because
of the shelves of water, inching like new constellations
across an endless night. It was the full circle
of fear, the kind that stays in my mouth
like neon jawbreakers, refusing to surrender, tailor-made
to dislocate words that I long to speak. I dread
colliding against this familiar: when the memory gathers
like burning hands around your throat.
Dorsía Smith Silva is a Professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. Her poetry has been published in Portland Review, Stoneboat, Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture & Social Justice, Moko Magazine, and elsewhere. She is also the editor of Latina/Chicana Mothering and the co-editor of six books. She is currently mastering the art of making rosemary bread and spiced carrot cake.
Luna Moth illustration by C.B. Auder.