Thunder Clouds

The air, heavy & pregnant with anticipation, lightly touches the hair along your arms

It’s the first stirrings of the inevitable.

The hair stands,

end on end – clinging –

to the soft breeze.

A stillness has settled across the world;

Pale – dark – grey – green clouds dance their way, ever closer.

The creeping formation silencing and stopping the world,

Floating forward, slicing its way through the air

Birds, squirrels, people – a world filled with life vanishes

Trees sink their roots deeper, bracing for the coming

Stillness, no, not stillness,

Anticipation so palpable the world radiates it

Seeping through every pore, taste bud, rod and cone.

Fear – excitement – mixed together

Tensing and unclinching muscles as your body floods itself with adrenaline

Nerves along your back shimmer, spasms of energy,

Cleansing your body of all imperfection,

Leaving nothing but a burning torch  – as the darkness closes around you.

Your senses are flooded, overwhelmed, buffeted, and stripped away

Geosmin swirls around you, so thick your mouth waters

The grass and the trees rustling, a melodic hymn so smoothing & so frantic

The first drop hits you,

You feel it – fired five hundred miles an hour into your chest –

The only reminder is a shotgun patterned sunburst of wet splayed across you

Another bullet, another drop, another sunburst

The cascade begins

The world explodes into raw – unfiltered energy

An unending deluge punches you square in the gut,

raking your face with pure ferocity, 

cradling you like a newborn babe,

an old familiar friend meets your smile with loving wet kisses.

Your clothes, soaked beyond measure, melt into your flesh,

Blades of grass wrap themselves around you – their wet grip cementing you together

Rain fills your nostrils with its wetness

Wind howling and screaming turns the world on its axis –

Directions cease to exist, rain pounds into your naked body at ninety degrees –

Zephyr pulls and tugs at your frame, until,

Nothing is left but bone.

The anxiety within you breaks against the gates of your mind.

The constant strain ripping the hinges off

Grinding and tearing the metal into shrapnel

The torrent of thought & feeling coursing

Its way through familiar well worn channels

You scream into the wind,

No one answers, but

You did not need an answer,

The feral, prime sound wasn’t for anyone else,

A bottomless pit pours itself into the world born on the reverberations of your breathe,

Only to be beaten and drowned by Mother Earth’s gentle, loving caress.

You are swimming in the life around you.

An ocean’s worth emotion crashes along the sun-bleached bones of your life

The frantic and pure energy of the tempest feeds you as

A hundred thousand places, millions of faces, and a billion thoughts screech through your mind

Packed and stacked haphazardly in a rusted boxcar,

That rocks and shakes, nearly derailing at every turn

A cacophony building in strength, until your lips part

It was here you were born,

It is here you will stay,

Lightning bursts and thunder flashes in the world around you, but inside

The squall’s strength is hammering you back together,

Gusts of wind are framing each piece of the tapestry,

Molten plasma soldering you whole.

The unadulterated force rocking the world

Sings you a childhood lullaby a thousand miles & decades away

Your frame drenched, shaken, and broken

Inside, a fire burns in the summer night

Fifteen minutes. The entire downpour lasts less than a quarter of an hour,

The formation of clouds dances onwards

taking with it the silence and the stillness

Birds chirp, fireflies bob and weave through the twilight

You lay covered in damp grass and sopping clothes

Yet, a smile draws itself across your face

Ear to ear

A pure, unfiltered, mirthfilled laugh escapes your rasped throat

Crosswalk Jetskis

I want streets to be paved with water,

Non-newtonian,

Viscous corn-starched asphalt,

 

I want to ride a jetski around my neighborhood,

Driving through the pavement, not on it.

I want the road to bounce up and down.

 

I want to swim through toothpaste roads,

Each road a different taste.

Mint Crest Avenue and Colgate Fresh Strip Parkway.

 

I want the crosswalks to stamped into the ground,

Buoys that bob along the not-solid-liquid.

Cross walks, floating nothings, until they’re crossed

 

I want to dance on a melted street with Weebo,

Flub, flan, flib – kicking up a storm.

Playing soccer on islands we built with our toes,

Little green balls bouncing between skyscrapers and crashing through windows.

 

I want to jump from the fourth story of my apartment building,

Swan dive into Main Street,

A floating pile of caramel,

Feel it solidify around me,

Forced to eat my way out.

 

I want dump truck after dump truck to pour tonne after tonne,

Little plastic balls bouncing their way down into the city center,

Turning downtown into a ball pit.

I want 300,000 people to turn out,

Swim out.

300,000 people feeling their way through the shoals

of our make-believe Chuck E. Cheese

 

I want to smack the liquid ground,

Skip a rock from oobleck to oobleck

Bouncing and rolling on the not-so-liquid-pavement.

 

I want to run full sprint down my street,

Non-newtonian,

Just to see,

if I can be fast enough to watch my footprints disappear into the ground.

Breathe – One Step, Two Step.

Breathe. one. Breathe two. Smile. three. Wave. four. Breathe. one.

The echo of footsteps thump into the air. two. Rhythmic reverberations resounding throughout the twilight. three. Doppelgangers pass each other, brief reminders of a world outside. four. Their paths intersecting again, and again. one. Same time, same place, mirrored paces. two.

Breathe. three. Breathe. four. Nod. one. Don’t lag. two. Breathe. three. Breathe. four.

The only sound breaking through the trance; Laura Jane’s voice screaming in my ear. one. Oceans swirl past my feet. two. I run past the Magical Mile, through Lake Shore Drive. three. No more troubled sleep. Four.

The sun has long nestled itself away beyond the hills. one. I watch as Atet floats on ripples of a still lake. two. Chang’e ghostly silhouette dances with the stars. three. A single bird’s screech cuts through the thumping. four.

Breathe. one. My shins are cramping, aching. two. My breath is as ragged as my steps. three. My double is gone, vanished with the sun. four. One more lap. one.  Smile. Two. Anger propels my feet forward. three. My body has morphed into rhythm. four. Up. one. Down. two. Left. three. Right . four.

I flag. I slump. A scream splits the moment. Feral. Hoarse. There’s no answer. one. Another scream. two. My breathe comes in gulps. three. Gasping I lurch forward. one.  I’M in ConTrol. TWO. im IN control. thREE. iM In cONtrOL. four.

My feet, my rhythm, grind to a staggered stop. one. I stare into the river, its black velvet pouring over, under, and around the polka-dotted rocks. two. My reflection looks back at me, warped by the water – by the whiskey – by heaving of my chest. three.

An explosion of water illuminates the night. two. A fount of mist mixes with the sweat dripping off my face. one. My reflection ripples and disappears. three. My feet join it. one. My chest. four. My neck. two. My eyes. three.

one. two. three. four. one. two. three. four. one. two. three. four. one. two. three. four. one. two. three. four. one. two. three. four. one. two. three. four. one. two. three. four. one. two. three. four. one. two. three. four. one. two. three. four. one. two. three. four. one. two. three. four. one. two. three. four. one. two. three. four. one. two. three. four.

My face breaks the water. one. A wounded howl on my lips. two. Sloshing, dripping, I fumble my way back to shore. three. Sloshing, ragged, uneven, jagged the steps come. four.

Damp pavement follows me. one. I turn off the path, back towards the sparkling lights of my neighborhood. two. I’m in control. three. Squish, Squish. four. I’m in control.