Air-Bridged Harbor*

“Whose flame/Is the imprisoned lightning.”
—Emma Lazarus, from “The New Colossus”

In a slow return to daylight after hours, she winks
at March and flirts

with her own promises to wake up
a tiny piece

of dirt. Hers is an impassioned lightning
that could strike

even now—before spring.

* also from Emma Lazarus’ “The New Colossus.”

It Turns On

a dime on the coffee bar tile
floor to pick up, orange
traffic cones inverted
in the sidewalk to ponder. It’s a sign 

not to fall 

into warning funnels before predictions
of tornado sirens blare over the radio. The handsome
shop keeper who owns that caché tells me
his beautiful dog sleeps 

behind the snuff 

bottle case. I notice him the way I notice him
so many evenings passing each other by. I go
unnoticed. Lightning inspires
a gray afternoon sky. These things—take 

note. A tornado 

warning gets canceled—
but what’s that sound?

Day 2,031 (Outside the Hive)

The bees are dying. No one knows
why. Saying hello as you roll
away does nothing
to clear away this rain.  

The beekeeper rarely speaks,
his voice cracks from disuse. I resist
filling in his blanks. They are not
blank, but beveled 

with premonition. Lightning
could destroy the hive. But that’s not it.
And if it was, you still wouldn’t stand still
long enough to take anyone’s advice.