no excuses

Other than a tunnel-visioning sinus headache, googling eyes out my sockets like light bulbs fallen out of the ceiling, or brighter, the world outside a telescopic view became blurry and unsettled, dizzy, I was chased by lightning out to poetry. See huge angry clouds growling from the North. Moving faster than airplanes. Overtaking helicopters and turning them into glittery shrapnel. Kept pace ahead of this stormy grey mass for nearly a mile when it caught up and coughed some convective heat at me like a demon’s breath. See the grand camera flash and hear the sour ripping thunder as if a portal to the underworld is attempting to open, or something is attempting to breach, the sound of tectonic plates crushing against one another. Thunder directly overhead, the flash light an automated red-light ticket dispenser, I’m the car running the light, the flash is my consequence, I’ll be shocked at the letter in the mail, the letters that never come, especially when it is sunny everywhere and the snowpack in the North Cascades is less than 5% of its normal capacity.

No excuses to water your lawns. We will have to ration. Seattle, too. Draught. Boycott Shell Oil. Become UNESCO city of literature. Understand what that acronym is supposed to be all on about. We will draught and ration and others will excess and talk about the “standards of living” as if having a three car garage has anything to do with that. As if the spatial awareness of my father was hindered by overt ambition. As if twenty years in the pit could bloom and blossom a great new home for everyone. Spotted Owls, included.

The sound of thunder directly overhead sounds exactly like I’ve heard heart attacks feel like. First the hair on the nape of your neck pricks up. This is some sort of evolutionary nostalgia, the ridgeline of the backs of cats when valid threats are near. The prickly porcupine. Something is about to happen. You touch a metal stop sign and watch your energy transfer to it with a small spark and feel like a magician. Then a flash (numbing of the arm) and the tearing, ripping, apocalyptic tearing of something out of you, out of the sky and out of you, your heart is seared steak. I’ve heard astronauts say that space smells like seared steak. the energy of atoms. the biological clock speeding up suddenly as if god were winding it forward.

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