Wet leaves plaster the chairs and tables; the hearts,
too, of bougainvillea flatten themselves against the wall.
Who can count how many trees fell across the road? At what
hour did the winds snatch the tarpaulin roof off the mall?
In a season of exigency, it is prudent to act with haste
as well as keep something back. Salt on rice, the can-
opener close at hand. Pull the drip of tallow: its paste,
something to roll into beads. High tide makes beaches of lawns.
The earth speckles with silt and grit; snapped wire, sad debris
of plastic shopping bags, foamed innards of sewer lines.
We don’t bathe for days. We drink instant coffee, dress
in layers, boil the last of the eggs. Yes, this will pass:
another thing to file away in memory, eventually. Even so,
it’s palpable: that sadness for what hasn’t come yet but will.
In response to Via Negativa: We sat outside.