Tuesday, August 30, 2011

During the Hurricane

During the hurricane, there were tornados
and just before, an earthquake.
Nothing major just a tremor,
a shudder in the sleep of a planet
suddenly chilled in deep space.

We wonder what next?
Has it been so long since the last
swath of disease, bounced lighter than air
down our throat, warping our blood,
changing our lives, permanently.

In the end, we flip the light to make sure.
We turn the handle on the faucet,
we flush the toilet.
We want to make sure that the life we lived
when we went to sleep
is still the life we wake to when night has passed,
when the hurricane has passed, tiptoeing through
lower Brooklyn,

leaving only a few downed trees,
like giants felled,
across the lawns of the very rich
and the very prosperous.

I tell you it could have been worse
and you nod and shrug,
kicking at fat twigs shaken loose
during the night of the hurricane, a night

when I slept, fitfully
my head on your chest,
dreaming of water,
too much black water,
and an octopus that wouldn’t let go.

This is how we pass the days, now,
stepping from one disaster to another, narrowly missing
true tragedy but I wonder how much longer can we go on?
How much longer, my friends, can we last?

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