Big Muddy Lightning Storm

Winter, 2013–2014 / No. 31

Your house was built in twenty-four,

brought down by tornado in twenty-five,

rebuilt the same year. Since then, quiet.

Relative quiet.

A black dog lives in the alleyway,

sniffing the burning barrels, scratching

at gravel. Without permission, wasps build

a nest in your garage.

A mile away, wasted by heat, the Big Muddy

runs aground on its way to the Mississippi.

Days of hundred degrees, darkness

still as anticipation. We ride

a slow current of pool

filter and whiskey on ice.

We listen to tornado warnings,

waiting to hear our county.

Touch skin only under water.

At midnight the black dog growls

and the sky splits into daylight.

The rain is a collapsing house.

Your body, relative quiet.