I can’t breathe. My chest clenches. I can’t cry.
I can’t.
They can’t see me cry.
My eyes swollen. My skin burns. My jaw throbs. Clenched too tight
I am gasping for air. 
…or is it grasping? I’m grasping…
The disasters are drowning me.  
Have to do this

I was never able to mourn for Tía.
The hurricane took her. 
 Her death is not accounted for. 
Deaths from the disaster aftermath don’t count. Why would they? These bodies have never mattered. You counted them in $$$ Dead or Alive 

“Nearly half of Americans are unaware that Puertorriqueños are citizens of the US.”
Yet their false god stands in his own square. columbus. Big Brother always watches.
What can I say? Imperialism is real. 
The colonizer doesn’t care. Will they ever care?
God, is that you? 

I can’t breathe.

Is that another one? Am I imagining this?
No No No Not again.
God can you hear me? 
We..They…I can’t take this. I can’t do this.
5 more terremotos. A man hung himself. It was easier than this.
“Don’t worry! It won’t ruin your stay on the Enchanted Island!”

The hum of generators echoes through the calles en la noche.
What is this darkness? More than absence of light. Absence of hope.
“I bet it hasn’t been this dark since the olden days. like when columbus got here”
“I did NOT pay for this cruise to see nothing! What is going on?!”

I can’t breathe

The buzz of hospital lights lures me back. A mix of vibrant. no.
lively Spanglish fills the air. Mi tío. Mi corazoncito.
Curses the island. Curses the government. God are you there?
Phlegm fills my throat. My tongue pressed the roof of my mouth.
“Don’t cry”, I repeat. Shit. Our eyes lock. Distant and Present.

¿Por qué estás llorando? You will get me out. That’s what we do, we are family. I love you”
And I love you. What’s that taste?  
Sangre. I bit my cheek too hard. 
Head pounding from… I’m not sure of this emotion. A tear falls. My eyes are flooded. Tears of pain, sorrow…
can this be hate? 

I can finally breathe. 

Sobbing. Heaving. Guttural 

He can’t breathe

They can’t breathe


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