Dispatch from the Storm Warning; Dispatch from a Rusted Railroad Spike

Dispatch from the Storm Warning
Suddenly restlessness
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.