Minister Puerto Rico preaches to Caribbean after Hurricane Irma by Ana Portnoy

oíganme bien
I can tell by your hands that you haven’t prayed enough
mine                  crumbled obelisks
under a searing sun   overgrowth through the dry cracks
are your fingers glued at
the tips?                                                  of your tongues
haven’t tasted a morsel of dry body or blood
mine                  arid with altar dust          a kerchief to
wipe organ keys      lips rotting wooden pews    yours                
          crumbled sidewalks          backs broken bridges        
limbs ruptured roads    had you built under god’s glare
had you not been naked and hiding gold in your rivers
had you not been boxed up in crates and stamped slave
had you not been servant to cane and white castles
had you not been                           you                   
must’ve done something real bad god
must not like       you
are nothing like   me
a pebble sinking between an ocean and a sea
that have swallowed too much


Contributor Notes

Ana Portnoy Brimmer is a poet and performer, creative nonfiction writer, ARTivist, and Master’s student of Literature with a Concentration in Creative Writing at the Department of English of the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras Campus. She is currently the Assistant Editor of Tonguas Magazine, a contributing writer for Global Voices, and a freelance writer for La Pupila. Ana is a Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation-VONA/VOICES Fellow in Poetry, an Under The Volcano Fellow in Poetry and Journalism, and a Las Dos Brujas Writing Workshop Alumna in Poetry. Her work has been published in The Acentos Review, Moko Magazine, Global Voices, Counter Punch, Yale Global Online, The Seattle Star, Resilience, among others; it is forthcoming in Under The Volcano/Bajo el Volcán: The Best of Our First Fifteen Years and Puerto Rico en Mi Corazón (a collection of broadsides published by Anomalous Press); and it is being considered for publication in a number of other platforms. She employs poetry and writing as tools for activism, her creative work being socio-politically committed. Ana is the daughter of Mexican-Jewish immigrants, she was born in New York, but was raised, and currently lives, in Puerto Rico. For more about Ana and her work, you can visit her webpage: