Dorsía Smith Silva is a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a three-time Best of the Net nominee, Cave Cavem Poetry Prize Semifinalist, Obsidian Fellow, and Full Professor at the University of Puerto Rico. Her poetry has been shortlisted for the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize Shortlist (2021) and has recently been published or is forthcoming in Crazyhorse, Poetry Northwest, Cream City Review, The Minnesota Review, The Offing, and Shenandoah. She has attended the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Workshop, Bread Loaf Writers’ Workshop, Tin House Winter Workshop, and the Kenyon Review Writers’ Workshop. She has a Ph.D. in Caribbean Literature.
Down, down, with la Niña, la Pinta, and la Santa María.
Bring the ropes to double snap the memory of what he
said that he discovered. The geometric shapes of his
wingspan lies are hurled into the river, but the lost
native bodies cannot swim ashore. I know that history
books inhale your whiplash of foreign lands and color
the pages with your pockets sucking gold coins. Yes, I
can count how you attached your name to everything
like refrains of the Beatles. Columbus, the great!
Columbus, the bold! Up, up went the sheets of iron
in Buenos Aires, Genova, Salamanca, Richmond,
and Vancouver—just to name a few. But now, the
chains are fitting you again. First, the head falls,
then the hands are spray-painted scarlet, and next
the base rocks. Someone gives it a shove until it
hits the checkpoint of giving way to vertical hands.
They want to take back what is theirs, reclaim all
that fell like beheaded fruit from the bed of the pickup
truck. Into the ocean, into the ocean, down into the
ocean you go, a wrought legacy with a rusted tongue.