I was born in a hurricane
Drowning in indignity
And they taught me how to swim
Before my words formed coherency
I learned salt from the ocean
Not from tears.
I learned to tell the difference
Between screams and wind’s howling
When the eye passed overhead
And the carnage stilled for sobbing
And the mother’s loud lament
And even ten years later
Sometimes you saw the empty eyes
Shattered by the force of nature
In buildings abandoned to the rise
Of the unforgiving sea
By those unhomed.
Please forgive my coldness;
I was taught to shut myself tight
And board up my windows
And hide in the closet
From the rage that devours.
But a hurricane candle only lasts 72 hours.