In those islands
once under foreign rule,
half the year hurricane winds
blow through streets named
after dead soldiers and presidents.
Only on golf courses
does the grass not look deranged.
But the perfume of ginger flowers
and hibiscus flutes wildest
along the ravines.
My eyelid twitches
at the scent of jasmine or gardenia.
I am not ashamed to say I
was neither eager to leave
nor eager to stay.
But the room described
by the ring of hills felt
more airless each day. I wrote
in a journal Forgive me—
though I knew no one could.
Out of cardboard stock and black
marker, I draw and cut out shapes of deer.
I string them like a mobile— One presses
its head to the ground, another cranes its neck.
One curls into itself, skittish but proud.
In response to Via Negativa: Amputee.