Nov/Dec 2019 • Vol. XLI No. 6 PoetryNovember 2, 2019 |

Report from the Island

Sea washes the sands in a frill of salt and a yes sound. We lie beneath palms, under the star constellations of the global south: a cross, a sword pointing upward. Through frangipani trees, a light wind. Bats foraging. Foreigners smoke the bats out by burning coconuts, calling this the bat problem. Or they set out poisonous fruit. The gecko hides under a banana leaf. So far nothing is said. A gecko mistaken for a bird that sings in the night. It is no bird. A healer blows smoke into the wound. Sees through flesh to a bone once broken. In the sea, they say, there is an island made of bottles and other trash. Plastic bags become clouds and the air a place for opportunistic birds. One and a half million plastic pounds makes its way there every hour. The pellets are eggs to the seabirds and the bags, jellyfish to the turtle. So it is with diapers, shampoo, razors and snack wrappers, soda rings and six-pack holders. Even the sacks to carry it all home flow to the sea. Wind has lo

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Water Crisis

By Carolyn Forché

Sea washes the sands in a frill of salt and a yes sound. We lie beneath palms, under the star constellations of the global south: a cross, a sword pointing […]

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