I Smell Rain

I get ready
to leave this drought
damaged state
for the (soggy) City.

Remember Gloria
was supposed to be
the storm of the century.
So last century.

That was before
Katrina or Sandy,
even before Bob.
All retired names.

I was a tropical storm
in the Atlantic once.
I was six typhoons
in the Pacific.

Even a couple
of super typhoons.
I’ve never been
a hurricane.

I will be your sponge city
if you promise
to stop trying
to order the waters.

You only trouble them
when you do.

Who’s at the sliding
glass door? Is it
that damn wild turkey gang
again? Unwitting narcissists!

Where’s the sweet blue morph
snow goose
this morning?
Swimming with the ducks I hope.

Lambda: Variant of Interest

A stranger whispers: “Next.”
Quickly, I search for words
beginning with L:

The longer leash
I used to give myself.

The leucistic Canada goose
often left behind in the park
among the ducks

while the rest of the skein
disappears into the sky for days.

The longevity of the Greenland shark—
oh, the legends
it could debunk.

The last time another stranger said to me:
“Listen to your body.”

“What?” “Listen to your body!”
“Oh, I stopped listening to her
ages ago. She mumbles. She lies.”

The longitude of their love, detached
from any true latitude, disintegrates.

The next major lunar
standstill and moon wobble
may flood more than you know.

The lingering shame
that comes from suddenly remembering

to defrost the freezer.
You wait and wait
for the miniature calving to begin.

The late summer leaves of an oak
that has prematurely dropped

its crop of acorns
on the sidewalk
during a desperately needed downpour.

The language of loss
that threatens to outlive all others.

This is not
about Lucifer.
Which one?

Artist’s Multiple Anxiety

It’s August again.
I still haven’t found
my own blue rooster
to replicate for the world.

When will I learn
private jokes
make the worst poems?
Or is it public ones?

I get them
mixed up. If
everyone gets it,
even if everyone thinks

it’s funny, how
can we tell
with these masks
returning to our faces?

If I ask one more,
will my true chicken emerge—

more pullet than hen.
That doesn’t count.
Have I, or have I not, wanted
to end one with the word “cock”?