culebra canal              boats & net fish

By Roberto Harrison b. 1962 Roberto Harrison
          no more windows ESCape the unwound protection
that heals an amorphous child, won deterrence         Voodoo bags
     inhibit the murder that stories tell, the incisions
          on our drums               ‘que nuestro pais se cuenta sin hablar’
     pushing on determined corn husks. count the zero
            that impresses germs                  upon language rails, on
                 the tree that simmers, showering bomb threats over
      THE LOST TONGUE. place hand to the other torso,
          place heart to the horse’s hide
                   and speaking races
                                            over sisters.          never do the ties
                            remember all their screens,
                                 or all their hiding limbs . . . wet on the chair,
                            ‘woven stone’ — places the INCUBATED muscle
                          on desiccated insects, droves of mango that never
                    to the floor. a welcome
                              accomplishment. SURFACE
                                                   shrinking skin, the isthmus
                                                       isn’t remembered
                                           for its canals. eggs & softened
                                                lizards — poured milk
                                     on the Wheel, red faces
                                            that play the memory of your
                                                 silent chairs . . .
                                                              some rain

                                     makes the wind full . . .
                                     into stone

Roberto Harrison, “culebra canal     boats & net fish” from Os, published by Subpress. Copyright © 2006 by Roberto Harrison. Reprinted by permission of Roberto Harrison.

Source: Os (Sub Press, 2006)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Roberto Harrison b. 1962

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Activities, Jobs & Working

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Roberto  Harrison


Poet Roberto Harrison was born in Oregon to Panamanian parents; he and his family moved to Panama when he was a year old, and then to Delaware in 1969. Harrison pursued studies in mathematics and computer science as an undergraduate; after a year of graduate work in mathematics at Indiana University in Bloomington, he traveled in the United States, Europe, and North Africa. His collections of poetry are Counter Daemons (2006) . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Activities, Jobs & Working

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.