City Out of Power After Dust Storm – Wanda Deglane

we drive slow like belly crawl- cautious,

looking side to side. the sky is raven’s wing

molten with rust and lighting itself on fire,

over and over. the entire city is out of power,

buildings slicked wet into stillness, storefronts

towering over me with pitch-black, tremblingly

blank faces. no sound for miles but the rain

hammering away, the wind licking at my car door,

and my brother’s soft curses at strewn tree branches,

at the street lights extinguished like dead eyes.

I want to tell him to shut up. I taste blood on my

lips. when I rub my fingers together, I feel dust

creeping its way in through the cracks inside me.

how long will we be this dynamic duo- him, cursing

and pounding and crying, and me, bleeding and

cowering further within myself? even from inside,

the air smells of wet death and loose ends and

sticky-suffocation. and in the middle of the road,

we see our mother’s dark form, crumpled small

and motionless, and sound itself seems to shiver

and pucker. we swallow, blink, shake our heads.

anything but look at one another. he steps on

the gas, branches crunching beneath our tires.

Wanda Deglane is a capricorn from Arizona. Her poetry has been published in Rust + Moth, Glass Poetry, L’Ephemere Review, and Former Cactus, among other lovely places. Wanda is the author of Rainlily (2018), Lady Saturn (Rhythm & Bones, 2019), Venus in Bloom (Porkbelly Press, 2019), and Sugar Weather (Vessel Press, 2020).

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