Love of Coconuts
When they ran out of saline solution,
Nurses gave transfusions of coconut water
to soldiers in the Solomon Islands.
My friend told me this as she cut my hair.
Told me to use coconut oil instead of lotion,
Coconut oil to pull impurities from my teeth.
So when I get to the shore of Oahu at five am,
the lone woman walking through cold sand
without a surfboard, and see the first wild coconut
of my adulthood, I think of her.
lying in cotton white beds
with coconuts infusing their blood,
The way pineapple infused the grape in the pineapple wine
I drank last night. The way rain infuses the clouds
Overhead. It’s not yet sunrise
But already I see light on the horizon, the bright
Passion-fruit yellow of that star sliding its fingers
Out of night, infusing
my arms with flickers of what used to be real fire.
There is no such thing
as independence. Nothing can live
without being transformed,
translated, transfused by what lives near
the surface of the earth, making itself indispensable.
Even a morning on this shore has translated me
into ukulele music and the smell of frangipani ginger,
The Taro root.
Rain falls on the skin
of the water. This ocean came from stardust,
And radiates still like the silver of a sterling pendant.
My grandmother wore before she died.
I hear laughter
So old it must be someone’s grandmother
Sharing what she has been saving
From the time she burst open
And became ocean,
to play her silverfish--shark-whale-krill-
sounding guitar song