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POETRY / Morning After Hurricane Irma / Ariel Francisco


Hum of the building breathing
with returned power jars me 
from my half-sleep. The clouds
have evacuated northward,
the trees lay in pieces across
the parking lot— like men
torn limb from limb by some
great cyclops— save for
the palms, which over time
learned how to lean in even
the strongest winds. Soon
the men with hard hats and
chainsaws will come to clean
what mother nature did not
carry with her. One trunk dove 
into the canal, almost long enough 
to walk across, the water risen
higher than I’ve ever seen, eating
at the grassy bank. In the morning 
sunlight, I wonder how they’ll
pull it out of the water before
noticing the heaps of turtles
basking on its soaked barked,
having already claimed it.

Ariel Francisco is the author of All My Heroes Are Broke. A poet and translator born in the Bronx to Dominican and Guatemalan parents and raised in Miami, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Academy of American Poets, The American Poetry Review, Best New Poets 2016, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. He lives in East New York.