November 27, 2012

Forecasting Natural Phenomena by Maria Bonsanti


The wind speaks a language I’m unable to translate.
I am anxious because I cannot swim.
Water is a toothless monster I never learned to tame,
never had to face. Dumb luck.
I look outside my kitchen window and see a garden still
dry, but swaying to the music of frenetic ions.
I see a mourning dove – today, I call it a
mourning dove; last week he was a turtledove –
straddling my chain link fence. His is the eye
of a hurricane not yet arrived.
Must be my father’s spirit, I think, telling me
he guards my roses, my cottage, me,
and predicting the bric-a-brac of my life
will be undisturbed, like curios in the path of Siamese paws.
The bird seeks calmer space. The cat hides.
The dog sleeps. A gust knocks down the statue
of Saint Joseph beneath the deck, decapitating
the only sign of masculine protection in my orbit.
Does this mean I will lose my roof? I don’t know.
The lights flicker but do not die; coded messages, I think,
from my father/the gods/saints with heads/demons,
unreadable just the same. I’m illiterate before these omens.
The wind intensifies. The neighbor’s awning bangs and rattles.
I do not know how to decipher those sounds. Will it hold?
I don’t know, I don’t know.

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