—for Marta Fiorotto

The grass flails as if something frantic were trying to escape:
a whale piercing the Atlantic, insects in their city of green
roiling with apocalyptic wind. The earth chases it down.
Passionate arcs pursue the sphere. Here on my deck,
kayaks swinging like dangerous cradles above my head,
I breathe small breaths from the angry gale. The cedars
daven and sway. A face of panic spreads across the lake.
 
Our lone domestic duck tucks her beak into her breast:
she is a stone of calm, whom I call Penelope, waiting
more than a year since last spring, when her mate
disappeared. From here it seems the center of all things
might be in the buried curve of her neck: all the frenzy
of this turbulent weather brought down in her stillness
to the ease of sleep and the rustle of dun-colored feathers.

From Confrontation 121, Spring 2017.