michael hogan (July 14,1943 / Newport, Rhode Island)
Dry Thoughts in a Rainy Season
This is the time of feverish leafing
for the poplar, the ubiquitous ficus
green ivy clinging to porous walls
covered with broken glass to deflect
the thief, reflect the sun
though neither comes down the potholed
street awash in muddy water.
They've found places further south
where the trees are alive with songbirds
where girls spill out of Catholic schools:
brown eyes, starched blouses
blue skirts, goldflash of thigh.
Here in rainy months nothing dry
but moments chiseled out of omnivorous damp
watching he ants' procession across
polished mahogany tables
seeing the lights flicker and die
like candles on a drafty altar.
We are stunned by our redundant silences.
the only sound: distant thunder,
Villa's ancient and ragged artillery
echoing through ghostly hills.
Three weeks of rain. Our bed
a cocoon of mildewed cotton.
Our touch in the darkness:
a naked astonishment
that we feel anything at all.
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