On Lamps and Hurricanes


The clouds hunker
low today, not mean just
sullen. No malice, perhaps
a chance of rain later, most likely
when I go out to run errands
without an umbrella
that I don’t have
anyway. And from where

I write these nothings I
could cut our divided country
with a diagonal line
to you, bunkered and God
willing hurricane proof. I
think of the old lamps

birthing flame
from whale oil more
precious than the lives
lost at sea and it makes me
think on the cost of things:
the toting up, a final
hermetic tally of
all our mortal dealings.



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