after Reagan Lothes
Because nothing else is on so early
in the morning when he drinks coffee
in an empty house. Because almanacs
are of limited use compared to satellites.
Because spring will have to come somehow
and cold reminds him which bones
he’s broken. Because every flight delayed
or canceled is one he won’t be on. Because
people should stay where they’re from,
except his children, who were right to leave.
Because a flood will take what it can
and move uphill. Because just once
he’d like to see a tornado touch down
in an empty field and go away
hungry. Because his wife nearly died
on an icy road. Because he can’t prepare
for disasters he doesn’t understand.
Because wind keeps him awake. Because
his boots are by the door, but his slicker
is in his truck. Because he can’t change
a damn thing forecast and uncertainty aches
like a tired muscle, an unhealed wound.
Copyright © 2013 Carrie Shipers. Originally published in Alaska Quarterly Review, Volume 30, Number 3-4. Used with permission of the author.
(After Wallace Stevens' "Of The Surface Of Things")
Colligated points, dust, ultimately a cloud, as in an orographic cloud in Colorado cringing against a horizon. Boundaried vision and vapor conspire to exhale, exalt into rain random dispersal into the present: I see as far as that. I never saw farther. In sinking air, mammatus cloud a sign the storm has passed is passing... I walk happily whenever or sometimes pass the last bad sign the bounded land, I am sad as you are doubtless. Sad said the bad man, somber. Otherwise say: In my room the world is beyond my understanding;/ But when I walk I see that it consists of three or four hills and a cloud.
Your voice carries easily through liquid; bridge is
halved by fog, as your tongue is divided in mist.
The fog of machinery augmented by steam.
Powered and then not powered, below a line, dark.
Cold, the weather has turned and out there, turbines still.
Water has divided, soft things and diverse: what
seemed one broke. Two cities and more. Lines reappear.
Across there is a wall also a door or steam
turns into fog. The bridge is two; light is taken.
People enjoy themselves, looking at glittering
potential floods. It is so nice to have a view.