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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.