No Rapture

Your cat: unphased
by the relentless booming and yellow
shrieks of a late-night electrical storm.

You: awakened to wonder
if it’s time—time to do something
as hail pings against shut windows

the way car wheels turn
on gravel. That’s it—that’s the setting,
action, plot, conclusion, neither

tragic nor comic, open
ended as 3 am in May.

Thick Skin on Back Order

Egg-sized but not shaped
hail knocks a fright against the brick
façade. Almost a century standing,

the building won’t fall down
in this maelstrom. The cat yowls
and races across the small-spanned

apartment (rectangle not railroad) before tornado
sirens begin to howl. He knows.

Windows open or closed, ricochet bent or pressure
cooked, twister real or exaggerated—this shelter for survival
may not withstand submission’s ache.