What Used to Be
Our roof in the neighbor’s palm
trees poses as an open-air temple
to some arboreal goddess
whose congregants are lost to time.
Nearby, the only bridge across the river
is in splinters, each road a fringed
dead end—no one going in;
no one coming out.
Day after day, the heat is sweltering;
nights, dark as the future we reach for
with desperate arms of isolation.
Hope is an empty water bottle.
Hungry for food and good news,
we try to call our families, anyone
who would care—but like all intention,
it is useless without power.
Seen from the rubble atop this mountain,
our beloved island lies in state,
its family awaiting word of rescue
by our distant, distracted nation.
Surrounded by dying, we try to remember
the splendor of what used to be
here, but all we can think about
is how quickly it was gone.