By Victor Hernández Cruz
Is the ocean really inside seashells
or is it all in your mind?
—PICHON DE LA ONCE
Behold and soak like a sponge.
I have discovered that the island of Puerto Rico
is the ears of Saru-Saru, a poet reputed to have lived
in Atlantis. On the day that the water kissed and
embraced and filled all the holes of that giant
missing link, this bard’s curiosity was the greatest
for he kept swimming and listening for causes.
He picked up rocks before they sank and blew
wind viciously into them. Finally he blew so hard
into a rock that he busted his ear drums; angry,
he recited poems as he tried turning into a bird
to fly to green Brazil. His left ear opened up
like a canal and a rock lodged in it. Rock attracts
rock and many rocks attached to this rock. It got
like a rocket. His ear stayed with it in a horizontal
position. Finally after so many generations he got
to hear what he most wanted: the sounds made by flowers
as they stretched into the light. Behold, I have
discovered that the island of Puerto Rico is the
ears of Saru-Saru.
The epigraph of this poem was originally omitted in the changeover to the new website. Because of this, reciting the epigraph is optional for the 2019-2020 Poetry Out Loud season.
Victor Hernández Cruz, "Here Is an Ear Hear" from Maraca: New and Selected Poems, 1965-2000. Copyright © 2001 by Victor Hernandez Cruz. Reprinted with the permission of Coffee House Press. www.coffeehousepress.org.
Source: Maraca: New and Selected Poems 1965-2000 (Coffee House Press, 2001)
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