by Caridad Moro-Gronlier
I have crossed a continent
to cast forty-nine names into the sea,
cuarenta y nueve nombres mangled
by anchors—Flores, Paniagua, Sanfeliz—
on a beach strewn with bones
of giants: Redwood, Sequoia, Sitka Spruce.
Behemoths that would not stay buried.
Before the ruined beauty of this necropolis,
saplings cleaved to elders, grew
stronger in each other’s arms
as they danced in darkened groves,
lit by the strobe of sunlight, dappled
limbs akimbo, unprepared for annihilation,
unprepared for the spilled sap, the glint
of the axe, the buzz saw, the prayers
planted at the root of their destruction.
I step over titans battered down
to driftwood, stripped of tannin and pulp,
bark bleached white as sheets and offer
forty-nine names to the sea,
cuarenta y nueve nombres.
Here I can believe the ocean
returns what she is given.