parham road, henrico

(i called you last night late
because i’m going mad)

the sun comes down but the frogs
can’t rest because they know, the chain link
fence around the yard disappearing into
the mute lascivious grass. thunder as an abstract
concept, thunder as the truth;
lightning as a five year plan or
lightning as your meal.

(it was dark and
had rained; the mountain

was not there, just suburban
gloom. and the storm came)

first the sun goes down but you can still see fine:
you can take your glasses off and see a green sky,
the air shuddering in place with its own guilt,
full of noisome shame; wind but no rustling,
thunder somewhere close but nothing yet.
finally the obesity of drops, the rain left in
the faucet from last time.

(i called you last night
knowing that the worst was

going on. and madness means
knowing that but

it not stopping. i’m sorry
to be how i am)

and the storm rose like an exhumed body from
the harbor bottom, matted and vengeful,
drenching the world in souvenirs of its bondage,
its place where it had been, as if to say i was not
in the water, i was in drowning, and this is not
water, but what drowning is.
you tripped and fell in the sodden
immensity of the hillside

and you did not leave until the next morning;
not until it all stopped.

because you hoped
to leach into the soil, probably,
if you stayed still.

or you hoped for someone
to come get you,
but no one even knew
you were there.

(i called you last night. i’m sorry;
this is very probably the end.

i was curious how long
i could last;

it’s okay,

it’s okay—

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