Dear Dana and Blythe,
The storm jarred me awake at 4:00,
at 4:30, at 5:00 — close strikes
are a fact of life here on the mountaintop.
The lightning came & went, came & went.
When I finally got up,
weariness flooded every muscle,
& I sat on the porch sipping black coffee
& enjoying the Brownian noise
of rain on the roof. The darkness
freed me from the labor of seeing,
the downpour, from listening.
Each flash & boom was painful,
the apparition of trees, yard, porch
all much too brief for my slow pupils
to shrink and take in.
Awakening is rarely a rapid thing;
dawning can’t be rushed.
I’ll admit, though, I pulled my pocket
notebook out & began writing blind —
too risky to go turn the computer on.
When I looked at it later, in the light,
I found I’d underestimated the spaces
between lines: words overlapped
as if on a palimpsest, ballpoint arabesques
interwove like fingers in hair.
Flashes, but not of insight,
I appeared to have written.
Ark of the Covenant — talking drums —
dyslexia of dark & light.
I am a cipher to myself. At least
the storm passed.