Monday, June 27, 2022


That late Wednesday afternoon,
Past rush hour in the desert,
Whoever had made it home

Already and was watching
From window or balcony
Was in for a little treat.

Giant clouds massed over town
Low enough to feel like part
Of the mountainous landscape,

Large enough to dwarf mountains
And huddled buildings both.
It’s amazing how easy

It is to misremember
The fleeting as delicate.
These giants rose from nowhere

In an hour and would vanish
Before midnight, but they made
The stone peaks look like footstools

For the temporary gods.
And then the storm broke, stunning
All the dust and sand below

And pulling off that rare feat
Of simultaneous wind,
Lightning, thunder, and rainbows.

The whole show, in short, but short.
Desert country, after all.
For twenty minutes it seemed

The deities had returned,
Marduk, Zeus, and Thunderbird,
Whatever names you wanted,

And there was fearful magic
In the world, too beautiful,
Nothing to do with humans

Or anthropomorphisms,
Even though it conjured them.
And then it went. The rain stopped.

The armada broke apart,
And the rainbows all unbent,
Leaving nothing but that scent.

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