Wednesday, November 22, 2017

After Harvey

By Rukmini Kalamangalam

The first rain after the hurricane
We held our breath
Tried not to imagine what it would feel like to be drowning again
So soon after the taste of stolen air
Replaced the salty breathlessness of rising tides
The first rain after the hurricane
We were ready before the flash-flood warning, already watching as
Water lapped at the curb
Feasted on the rotted remains of gutted houses
Tried to wash away the evidence of its crimes
The first rain after the hurricane
We saw a pack of wild dogs at CVS
Snarling and slavering in red wellington boots
They watched us with hungry eyes
Snouts sniffing the air for threats from the sky & each other
The first rain after the hurricane,
The water washed away as quick as it had come
Leaving streets dark & empty &
Water still priced 3.99 a gallon
We scoured the clouds for signs of false promises
The first rain after the hurricane,
We tethered our homes together,
Waited to become chains of floating memories
Prayed for a second chance at survival,
Our heads still bowed as the rain evaporated, leaving only stillness behind

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