Dispatch from the Storm Warning; Dispatch from a Rusted Railroad Spike
Dispatch from the Storm Warning
had a weather—summer, season of skin
and unfettered breath, of whole lives
devoured between pages. We failed
each other in ways we could
and could not control. So much undone
by proximity—home from work, closer, too close—
how the cloud cover drew on and stripped us
of all intention, attention at loose ends,
astray. The sight of green sprawling in all directions
made me want to spread myself thin,
arms hooked around both ends of the horizon,
cumulus blooms over a slow cobra of smoke.
I became her, battering to tatters,
this lady of the darkening margins.
Tuned to ruination, she twirled, and where
she touched a toe down: dust-lifts, debris.
Strand of dark yarn, twitching umbilicus
dropped from womb-dark cloud, how long
before she pulled apart, and where
she dissipated, light sifting in among flung dust.
It was this in me above all else that he tied to,
this sight that consumes all the life-lived
detritus: that stranger’s eyes, bright
as standing water, those bed-head mussed curls,
that baby’s dimpled shoulders, freckled elbows,
hands that never fully unclench from a fist—
all I could not have and had no claim on.
Anyone can tell you what becomes of hunger:
always the widening where the weather
comes from, the narrow making a mess
of its urgent searching, and the wanting
is the center of the still.