Scene Likely Needed

by Matthew Harrison

how the pine
     limbs drool
after the acid
     downpour
and neighbors
     crowd to gape
at small raw pits
     widespread
as navels
     blistering trees
and streets
     and the minced
lawns like tapeworm
     ulcers. As if the new
postdiluvian
     suburbs were plagued
with blackish hickeys
     or bubbled-up
herpes, a humid
     wind chafing
the wounds.
     The sore hollows
are where the birds
     burrowed away
from the storm
     but died
anyway. Christ,
     the status quo
has become wingless:
     humped
bipeds buckling
     to quadrupeds
fondled by contagious
     bugs. The latest
hope on the market
     is a popular stock
photograph
     of a vacant ocean
hotel. And just this morning
     the neighbors woke
to the sound of nothing
     to worry over:
the bomb-whistle
     of passing planes,
the refrigerator's wheeze,
     the gagging
Mr. Coffee.


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