First week of June and insurance
to purchase, itemizing last year
in the bedroom closet
with the old shoes where the big toe
ate through the front, boxes to stack upon boxes,
the television sitting above the rest,
not willing to sacrifice primetime entertainment.
The dogs outside are pacing,
trying to find death, as a neighbor speed-walks
to each stop-sign wearing the attitude of page seventeen
of Sears’ spring catalog, beauty in uncertainty
with a flower pattern. She slaps the signs
as if to check the stability before the wind
gets the chance, as the pain of metal on metal howls.
On the front porch, we sit cross-legged
with the weather broadcast over the city intercom
and the stop-sign-screams,
swallowing the happy-until-you’re-not-pills,
the same pills that they gave the boys in grade-school
when they lapped around the schoolyard
The neighbor sits and sweats with her
orange rust hands on her forehead, says she
is allergic to the storm,
says it makes her brain arthritic until it cracks
when she thinks, so she packs and leaves.
Says her first husband was uprooted
with the water last year, that his coffin
took the long way home right down the street.
We inhale the cold front, the warm front is
out in the backyard, waiting for something-more,
waiting for the meteorologists
to allow it, to predict the chaos—
the storms sharing personalities,
a little anger with a little integrity,
Alex and Bonnie and Colin and Danielle bumping
their chests against the siding,
spitting a temper tantrum on the windows.
And when the rain hits, I sleep with my mouth
open, drool, my body helping the streets flood
on my pillowcase, sucking in the humidity
I watch as the neighbor pulls out
through the storm, the puddles gorging themselves
on raindrops, growing with greed
as if to show the hurricane, to prove
that they have power too.
fiction poetry "fact" photography