Just Another Armchair Meteorologist

by | Oct 15, 2019 | Issue Eleven, Poetry

The dust comes over from the Sahara, sings nightly in an Arabic that cloaks
            red the sunset. It’s hope in dispersal, refraction an antique ruby set in Gulfcoast gold.
Between it and the wildfire particulate, they’re hard to separate.

            The price of plywood skyrockets when we speculate.

Cape Verdean seas begin their slow churn over a weathered pearl, seek
            nucleation, originate sedimentary inclusions. It is June, after all. And it is hotter than




Who the fuck knows?
That’s where our tax dollars are supposed to go.

Last time, Eric and Laura sheltered at work. In the lashing dark, their limbs clambered for purchase like the splintering oaks downtown – one used once for a public hanging. (No, not the lynching tree, which was years ago dead, slow, slow, slow, with that 1924 lead.

I know an old-timer with a piece by his bed.) I don’t know what The Daughters do with the bust of Lee in a storm. Surely there are bylaws. Nine months later, our young couple’s daughter was not called Irma. No one is anymore. As the continents continue their drift by sky, I
wonder about those birds caught up in the eye.
If they ever made it home.

I feel the loss of them
            I feel the loss of something

Maybe they earned
a new last name. Carolinensis sounds nice.
                        Repatriation through nomenclature. Not the usual
            migration route, but I’m about ready to take it.

            We owe everything to Africa: hurricanes and the dust to hold them down. The footprints     of our mitochondrial matrilineage. Original Eden, creation from destruction. Stone born            of the first water, cycling quantum. And how we swim today in the aquifer.

The silky Bedouin haze of a second
ruddy sunrise asks: How many dunes are
lost an ocean away? as I test the generator

                        The pantry stocked, gas in the sedan, I want to start

to climb.

Pointillist stabs of daylight punctuate
tin-snipped crags of remembered mountain,
the sunrise rays of clarion trumpet, a foreign
mouth spilling honeyed religion, singing
through all the signs,
saffron heraldry
Evacuation Route
One Way Out
barked through a bullhorn
All emergency services will be suspended for those who defy the orders
in two languages
(even in escape, we
forget the Haitians)The black block-faced arrow
resembles a National Guardsman roadside
Our spray paint
can labeled
Looters will be shot. On the outside,
                                                I’d bet, we’ve got two weeks.

            It’s five p.m.
            in Florida, and
the thunder panics the distance. Here it comes
at last: the first rain. And what the hell, amen. May it put
the fires out.

Read more Issue Eleven | Poetry

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