His Name Was David
he was the reason everything changed
why my life didn’t go as planned
not that I had plans for myself at that age
I had just turned six
but my parents had plans for me
for my sister
for my brother
for our family
he arrived in 1979
sixteen days after my birthday
I should have told him,
you are not welcome here, go back
across the ocean you’ve traveled
go back, you don’t belong,
but I was a little girl and
he was bigger than a string of words around my neck
he came and we weren’t prepared, nobody was
his presence made us feel alone
Papi was still in New Jersey
father who couldn’t fight from afar
but Papi would not attack in a struggle
he transformed into the silence between lightning and thunder
raised his hands only to usarmed with a chancleta
David vandalized our home,
our street, our neighborhood, our city
the island’s beaches, mountains, valleys and river
she stole our mangoes, auyamas, yautías, and every plátano
what does a country do when the staple of
breakfast, lunch and dinner
of both the rich and pooris destroyed?
Letting go of David
How many poems will I have to write
before I let him be only a storm
of gushing rains and winds that blew that night?
Not depict him as a demon in form.
Describe only the prayers we chanted then,
hailing Mary in the darkness, counting
rosary beads running over and again
between my little fingers, repeating.
Our calls for grace unheard, drowning in roars.
Days thereafter without power--thirty
days of darkness. Why can’t I close the doors
on the past now becoming a dirty
obsession? When will I forgive David,
the hurricane, not a person who lived?
poemas extraídos de revista ping pong, nº 9.