Before the Divorce, A Dry Thunderstorm

by | Mar 11, 2014 | Poetry


Though lightning sections the sky and thunder breaks,
then breaks again, rain will not come. I near the fence,
trash bag in hand, the narrow backyard expanse like the stage
for a school play after the children have long gone. I see
approaching what might be the shapes of horses, or the long,
wind-pressed shadows of trees. This, our shard
of the American dream: a house with a fence, the same
houses and fences on either side. The automatic
sprinklers sputter on, spitting fake rain across flattened
scabs of grass. Tonight, drought is abstraction, a hollow
phrase I cannot grasp. So too is divorce, how we will split
a house. It is small, the T.V.-lit window just one of many
in the dark, a neighborhood of boat-lights afloat
on what must be a finite sea. The pattern repeats: heat-
lightning, thunder, silence, the sky still stubborn with indigo
clouds. Rain will come, though probably not tonight.
I wait anyway. The thick air hovers just above me.




Photo By: Michael Sale

About The Author

Christine Kitano

Christine Kitano is the author of Birds of Paradise, published by Lynx House Press. She was born in Los Angeles, earned an MFA from Syracuse University, and currently lives in Lubbock, Texas where she teaches literature and creative writing at Texas Tech University. Recent poems are forthcoming in Tar River Poetry, Crab Orchard Review, and Miramar. Find her online .