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Waiting for a tsunami


The attic roof is sand-bagged, we

hear loud shouting as echoes

wake to the sun, and the bristling

lips of earth float out of depth in the air


where a blindfold of warm velvet hides day,

frees its comb to the cat’s coat, tonguing.

My mother at the morning sails forgets

to raise the others. From spray-jackets


nailed to the deck, we strain

for sense from the sound of rain

blowing on the roof. Where it pools

sympathetically, a single tennis ball


was lost; the oak still holds bone-wings

of a cousin’s kite, abandoned

to a summer twilight. The needle

squeaks on the gauge like a gate.


A scruff of feathers, perhaps a gull

flattened on a window, or a newspaper

flaps along the tarmac. The rain

dances quadrilles with its own reflection.


We mourn this forced imprisonment

above a seethe of cats, as if to say death

doesn’t exist apart from life. And the ocean.

Everything, everything we could lose, we treasure;


the Russian roulette roads, paths branching,

birds tweeting their bagpipe lungs,

a different sea before the flood. We free

for entertainment our gods from the clouds.




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