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Two Poems photo

15 October

The daytime moon is halved in a bright blue sky and a confusion of birds flows together and apart again over the English/Philosophy building, evading a hawk—this is the feast day of St. Teresa of Jesus, mystic, writer. Ten hours away my brother is home from the high school damaged by a tornado, EF-2 that tore through the West Monroe as I sat under my lamp and graded papers: wind and bark and hallway of tall, tall doors, click and cursor and dark wet pavement, remembered Spanish words I understand but don't know: nada te turbe. Nada te espante. Solo Dios basta. Crack and snap of tree limb and some strange yellowed afternoon when the wind went crazy, once upon a time in April, roof and tarp, water bottle, volleyball net. We sat in the emergency-lit hallways; we wandered under the sun; crisp cool daytime and bright blue sky—amen, amen, alleluia.


Market Street

Maybe anything could happen in the middle of the night. The phone could ring. The storm could come through. The siren could sound and trapped deep in waves of sleep no one would know to move. Maybe anything could happen because of these bright empty spaces, 24-hour grocery store aisles: boxes and bottles and cans, peaches, heads of lettuce, dispensers of coffee beans and quiet cold cuts. The witching hour comes and goes—what haunts these piles of pumpkins, these frozen TV dinners, towering feathered seasonal trees, tables of cheese and artisan breads? Light fixtures like globes and glossy moons of boiled eggs and hot coffee dwindling: at five o'clock bread is baking. At six we are driving home: sun rising in stripes through bedroom blinds. One traffic light.

image: Caleb Curtiss