I watch the Phoenix news as if it were my own.
The swirls tell me what I already expected:
This will be a hard winter. Phoenix doesn’t know
winter but it absorbs our weather all summer long.
I watch the swirl on the ultrasound. It makes a bee-
line for my body parts. The future unwraps like an umbilicus
and I am tugged along like a turtle trapped in an ebb.
I should have built a softer shell. This one is hard to adjust.
It’s hard to take fifteen feet of snow. They predict
even more. Doppler radar is faithful to its Pacific,
its jet stream, its warm, Baja trends. The deception
lies in the big gray spirals that seem so warm and fecund.
I lie on the table and wonder what the ceiling can tell
me that the sonogram can’t. How much does one (more) life
weigh? One thousand stone or a skeleton as light
as birds? And which to prefer? Birds are so damn fragile.
I don’t want to be the one to break the news. The flat roofs
can’t handle that much snow. The ground has absorbed
all it can absorb. There should be some equation: force
equals expectation plus belief, divided by barometer.
It always disappoints, the image on the screen.
You want to see more. You want to reach in there
and touch nose, make belief out of vessel and skin.
But shadows are as reliable as wings sans feather.
In the spring I sit on the porch. The clouds gather around
the peaks like they want to nest there. A vulture
crashes against the wind in waves. I wonder what loud
omen a vulture makes—snow, rain, go home, reverse.
I need sound. If wide-eyed anticipation is butterflies
then this humming in stomach is a bevy of red worm
expectation, a hive of oh my god, a cold comb of precipitate
turning forewarning into predictable, warm rain.
BEES, KEYS, SEALED
I put my ear to her chest
to hear the murmur of the bees.
They’re stuck in there
whirring like blenders
scaling the honeycomb
of her lungs
knitting the sacs
until the whole nest
is a plate of unmovable honey.
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