When the Weather

By Damen O’Brien

if a howl runs through youlike a gale from heaven
open all the windowslet the weather in to rifle
all the pages of disasterpush the glass in with its pressure
there’s an errant bird batteringconfusion in the hallway
while a whirlwind’s teeth chatterbluntly in the bottom drawer
picking through your clothingand browsing through your journals
all of this is love or somethingvery like it, very bitter
like a squall of rain or betterlike a gust of hail come knocking
at the door, or door-bell pressingsudden shadows into sunlight
as if a cloud poured through the windowor a storm camped in the bedroom
and everything is touched by itturned over and examined
judged and adjudicatedas a cyclone judges houses
as a hurricane hugs a shelteras the aftermath of love is
brutal as the weather and warm as sun come shining
through the holes in roof and curtainsas nothing that you’ve made
or placed or built or paintedor bought or decorated
can avoid its touch foreverits acquisitive investigation
the rain will press its desperationits damp fingerprints into everything
that you thought to keep from exposurewhen the winds of her come calling



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