And now the storm is inside.
He holds himself,
in the manner of a man unsure of his body
and what it can do, under pressure.
She holds an umbrella,
more as a distraction
than some vague form of protection.
Soon, the umbrella and embrace will be gone,
claimed by a sharp, horizontal rain of utensils
and saliva-coated language.
He suggests the basement,
as he’s heard that wind, when contained,
keeps to one level and intensity.
She leads the way, trailing rejections
of his wind/space/velocity theory,
though not his sincerity.
She is right. The basement is cyclonic -
a black light fizzing in a glaze of wall sweat,
and the contents of a sea chest, blowing
anticlockwise like antipodean drainwater.
Upstairs, things are desperate.
The bed has been upended and stripped,
the sheets cracking overhead,
the headboard a free-ranging marker
to the death of tenderness.
Bruised and amazed, they make it to the roof.
It’s so calm, they can hear
what the retired geologist is saying
to his wife, three streets away,
in the house they had made from local stone
when they were happy, in the days
before their own internal storms
had turned their lives
to complex names for common rock.
In the east, the Aurora Australis
is lighting its fires: a flaring of blue curtains
printed with phantom town lights
ar and a leakage of stars.
They hold each other and listen
to the spaces between, what has become,
below, soft buffetings, while,
three streets away, desire is being
assessed like a core-sample
taken from conglomerate stone.
She puts her hands into the sky.
They glow and then die out, but not before
she’s said, over the audible pulsing of the night,
Your tongue is an ultralight plane.
My breath is wind sheer. Fly into me.