I’m staring at the basement ceiling, waiting for the wind
to twist off my house like a frayed sun hat,
She gasps and chases it across a French cobblestone bridge,
holding her skirt down, giggling.
Or, I’m squatting down to umpire the preschool tee-ball game
as a twister toddles, off balance and mouth breathing,
toward my whiffleball house, dragging the bat
and smearing the chalk line behind him.
Maybe I’m sitting under the table as the novice magician
pulls the tablecloth too slow, sending my fake fine china house
bouncing off the convention carpet square lawns.
The neighbors, embarrassed for me, order another scotch.
I could be sitting in the basement bathroom when she walks
right in, wanting to redecorate everything, and I remember
all my friends saying, “don’t move in with Kansas,”
and I wonder why she can’t understand the word “occupied!”
Or, I’m hiding in the wine cellar of the Ottoman Empire,
bracing for invasion, hoping I’m dressed appropriately
for when I’m found impaled on a spike, my collapse
the only event worthy of a history book.
Or, I’m the dandelion seed stuck between the toes
of the panic-frozen marmot, as the Winnebago wobbles
through Yellowstone, leaving behind it a path of diesel smoke,
skid marks, and splattered marmots,
and all the unwritten stories and other sins of sloth,
gluttony and greed that have accumulated in my closets
seemed nicely tucked away when the rain started,
but started spilling out when the wind picked up,
and in the darkness I could only think about my punishment
massing in the clouds above me, but due to influences
too many and too subtle to hear in the static of my dying radio,
there was too much else before me to destroy,
and the storm spun out too soon, and the parting sky revealed
nothing more to me than that I am, for now, forgiven.