Bitter gusts beget whirlwinds of leaves.
Minor tempests that twist and course
Along an asphalt and concrete coulee;
Sucking up the cast-away detritus
Of a wintery gray indifferent city.
Ephemeral eddies of air dashing
Themselves quickly to death against
Parked cars and curbs and bushes;
Gone without leaving a mark.
And I, inveterate champion of underdogs,
Wish that one could grow strong enough
To unleash the full fury of a tornado;
Peeling away roofs and ripping off awnings,
Upending trees and overturning cars,
Instead of just blowing around a plastic bag
That inevitably gets stuck on a fence.
Lost in your world
Supine on the bed with your book,
Brow furrowed in concentration,
You are lost in a world of fiction;
Oblivious to my presence,
And to the din from outside.
Where children, fat and happy,
Squeal and splash with delight
In a pool under lurking gray clouds
That shed sparse plump raindrops;
Falling like tears on the dusty earth.
From my chair by the window
I watch your face translate words
From the pages that have devoured you
Into frowns, incredulous arched brows,
Sudden smiles of gleaming white teeth.
Fiddling with the oversized ring
On your right hand, spinning it
Round and round on a slender finger
While large brown eyes march
From left to right across each page.
Sudden laughter like a cloudburst,
“Oh my god, he did NOT just say that!”
The spell of silence now broken;
“What?” I ask, hoping you will let me in.
“Nothing,” you say. “Just something I read.”
Alcohol breath. He has spent his entire paycheck on booze again.
A whore’s perfume. Please don’t let him bring me the virus.
Six children. Will he take care of them if I get sick?
No more babies, please.
Oh thank god!