Margin: Exploring Modern Magical Realism


PUERTO POBRE¹

They named you rich port.
Now your resources dwindle—

some were extinguished long ago,

but the corn smiles still.
Pineapple crowns rain up to the sky.
Cane gives up guarapo

All, beneath that earth where a giant dwells.

I name her Woman
Who Knows All Who Walk Above Her.

She coughs fire,
in battle sings her enemies to sleep
forever.

I name this sleep Plant
With Spores Released Only in the Dreamtime,

that dreamtime place
where there is no wind.
Its dim suns, maimed hands—
        screams,
        gunfire,
        wild dogs—

though flowers grow beneath them
anyway.

I name these
New Children Who Heal Up the Past.

They will be related to my own.
And we will grow into the earth like rain.

n a o m i   a y a l a
w a s h i n g t o n,   d. c.

¹puerto pobre—a take-off on the name given to the island of Borinquen by the Spaniards, Puerto Rico (Spanish for "rich port").

²guarapo—juice extracted from sugarcane.

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