Driving in Puerto Rico After Hurricane María

Dorsía Smith Silva

It’s dark now.
Quite cruelly hot.

Barreling down the streets, full of large chunks
of black tangled wires, shattered glass, and splintered stop signs,
I swing from lane to lane,
crisscrossing across the double yellow lines like bursting lattices.
Now that the earth has fallen around me,
my car crushes all that is underfoot.
Locked into its roaring appetite,
the tires take the asphalt hostage, so effortlessly
shake the concrete barriers,
gather the flesh of gravel pebbles.

And here in a land without traffic lights: day after day,
there is a firm shade of understanding,
so that my car chops down all like a chainsaw,
forging a new path in the sea of debris.
In this season of hurricanes, I grow fearless:
a warrior consuming one road after another,
of the many wild domains.

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 Portland Review, Saw Palm, Aji Magazine, Gravel, Adanna, Mom Egg Review, and POUI: Cave Hill Journal of Creative Writing. She is also the editor of Latina/Chicana Mothering and the co-editor of six books.