Unbearable heat all day, then rain
sometimes near midnight. I should be
sleeping, but as soon as I hear
the boom of thunder, all my old
restlessness returns, translated
by my hands into gestures that at least
help fold the laundry when they can’t
bear to turn the pages of books anymore.
I don’t know what it is I’m always
bracing for: news from that other
home I left years ago— news of a fall,
news of a death. Not that anyone wishes for
such things to take place, but rather,
almost as though they’ve already happened
and it’s just taken the announcement
a longer time to arrive. I saw a satellite
animation track a column of dust blown
by a wind storm from the Sahara clear
across the Caribbean and into the skies
of Texas, where it lingered and spread
as a fine haze for weeks, even months.
What does it matter what form we might
survive in, if there is no one to keep us?
I don’t mean as a different kind of body,
or as fragments sifted into a glass.
When I’ve waited up to the point
of exhaustion, sleep comes. Even this
is labor: the lungs working their
quiet bellows, the small muscles’ spasm
as the body descends deeper into itself.