Michelle Rivera


Adrift in El Yunque

I tear off a bronze leaf

And raise its murmur to my longing mouth:

it was the expression of the earth’s lament,

A fractured hourglass or a splintered soul

An entity so remote it appears

Cavernous and clandestine to me, concealed by terrain

A cry subdued by infinite seasons,

By the damp exposed obscurity of the trees.

Rousing from the tempestuous tropics, the bronze leaf

Echoed beneath my lips, its migrant perfume

Reached up through my distrustful spirit

As if abruptly the world I set aside

Screamed out to me, the nature I abandoned during my adolescence…

And I lingered, tortured by the traveling bouquet.


Michelle A. Rivera holds a B.A. from NYU, and M.A. from CUNY, earning degrees in  both Creative Writing and English Literature. Her poems and plays have been read at NYU, CCNY, the Nuyorican Poets Café and the PRTT. Ms. Rivera is also a lifelong and classically trained dancer who owns a private studio in her native borough of Queens.

August 2010