a curse of islands

there’s a possibility
loneliness might be genetic,
but I just cannot prove it

if no man is an island,
can an island become a man?

I feel for my father
I feel for my grandfather
I feel for my great grandfather

did life land on us?
did we land on life?
were we never completely born?

through the fog and stones
that the light divides,
this place is no more to blame
than tropomyosin
in my blood,
which can cause my death,
epicureal and real epic

but like my allergies to shellfish,
I cannot date back
to where I first started
being lonely

did it begin with my father?
did it begin with my grandfather?
did it begin with my great grandfather?

there’s a thread in here

and it’s been going for so long,
that I recently discovered
cobwebs under my breath

yes, I have had to renounce
edibles from the sea,
a necessary determination
and a ridiculous curse
for someone who lives
in an island

time must have lost its compass, too,
shipwrecked and indifferent,
oblivious to its own nature,
and so a day feels like years

my mouth is coral reef
my beard is the mangrove
my body smells like saltpeter

under the wind’s muzzle
and the chant of mermaids,
I become one with the eroded sand


Elidio La Torre Lagares's picture

Elidio La Torre Lagares has published four poetry collections, two of which are available in electronic format: Vicios de construcción (Construction Vices) and Ensayo del vuelo (Flight Rehearsal), which was awarded with the Julia de Burgos National Poetry Award in 2008 in Puerto Rico. He has a short story collection, Septiembre (September), awarded by the Pen Club Puerto Rico in 2000, institution that also recognized La Torre’s first two novels, Historia de un dios pequeño (Tale of a Small God, 2001) and Gracia (Grace, 2004), as the one the best books published in their respective years. His latest novel, Correr tras el viento (Chasing the wind), was successfully released as an e-book late in 2010, ranking number 4 among Amazon Kindle’s best selling list for thrillers/ mystery in Spanish. He currently teaches Creative Writing at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus.

Last updated October 17, 2011