A Sonnet at The Edge of the Reef
the Waikīkī Aquarium
We dip our hands into the outdoor reef exhibit
and touch sea cucumber and red urchin
as butterflyfish swim by. A docent explains:
once a year, after the full moon, when tides swell
to a certain height, and saltwater reaches the perfect
temperature, only then will the ocean cue coral
polyps to spawn, in synchrony, a galaxy of gametes,
which dances to the surface, fertilizes, opens,
forms larvae, roots to seafloor, and grows, generation
upon generation. At home, we read a children’s
book, The Great Barrier Reef, to our daughter
snuggling between us in bed. We don’t mention
corals bleaching, reared in labs, or frozen.
And isn’t our silence, too, a kind of shelter?
To celebrate National Poetry Month and in appreciation of the many cancelled book launches and tours, we are happy to present an April Celebration: 30 Presses/30 Poets (#ArmchairBookFair). Please join us every day for new poetry from the presses that sustain us.
Copyright © 2020 by Craig Santos Perez
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Through experimental forms, free verse, prose, haiku, sonnets, satire, and a method he calls “recycling,” Perez has created a diverse collection filled with passion. Habitat Threshold invites us to reflect on the damage done to our world and to look forward, with urgency and imagination, to the possibility of a better future.
"Essential. Read this book."
— Camille Dungy, poet and editor of Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry
"Craig Santos Perez is a writer I seriously watch. He includes a variety of environmentally important writing, seamlessly combined with history, politics, and the familial."
— Linda Hogan, writer and environmentalist