The gates are open to the sea.
The river flooding the farmland,
houses filling up to second stories:
this is their first. Not a story that speaks
or writes or shows itself, only a tale
of zero and one. Digital bipeds
living upstream, and all are gone by now,
soaked in blistering heat, homeless, alone
with their own. It is as though God looked twice
and seeing no one there, sent the rain down
to help fill rivers like this one, lawless
at first and now fugitive in their run
to the Gulf.
This goes nowhere. But don’t stop
now that the music offers the dancers
a dance of death. Open your umbrella
or open your dress, show me all of you
with the wet sky glistening on your skin.
Fuck with me before we flee. So many
will drown here. May we be chosen to go
on, in the scent of love’s furious claim . .
I put down the pen, I crumple paper
over the scribbled code and cast it out
a window, into the rancid water
that floats this house. There: may it sink tonight
and be free.
Then there are the animals
learning to swim. They will run out of breath,
it will feel like their legs are collapsing
under the weight of the endless delta.
The horses, the cows, the sheep, all of them . . .
There is no inventory like the dead’s
histories nailed to the dark clouds that burst
open and empty another cart load
where the horizon will be lost in fog.
I have said enough. I have said nothing.
Nothing is enough. When will it be said
that the city must be spared, the country
murdered in its sleep by the archangels
of rain’s accounting. And why speak at all?
(12 May 2011)
copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander