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