Naomi Ayala, born in Puerto Rico in 1964, is recipient of numerous awards and fellowships and author of three books of poetry: Wild Animals on the Moon, and This Side of Early.
THIS BEING THE LAST TREE
For Peter Dolores Ayala Sepúlveda
A Boricua is born from the roots up
to study the light of the universe
the Earth’s drum imbuing feet
with rhythms only the wind can carry
only another Boricua knows.
He is given the cycles
of the land he broke with
for a different kind of freedom.
They are heavy soursop, bombing
the rubble with milky sweetness
to spite the windowpanes of the city
this sky that can take us.
They joint his mind against the urban wind
like the nodes of sugarcane.
This being the last tree, his laughter
bounding from the last
airport of his imagination
another Boricua is born of it
from the roots up.