The last of the day's light

lingers on the horizon.


I could be in any town

after an afternoon thunderstorm,

followed by sideways heavy rain

tapering off to a gentle patter

on our broken roof,


any town, village or city

that has trains traveling through,

predictably, precise,

unlike most happenings in my life

at this particular time.


Planes fly loudly overhead

in the darkness

while cars and trucks splash

the rain on potholed asphalt,

a pleasing sound that crescendos

then subsides, like gentle

ocean waves on faraway sands.


Which songs do you sing

alone in such rain?

Behind me the last train to Rockaway
daubed with incomprehensible graffiti
rattles back across the bay.

Behind me also the City lights
still burn as bright
But for me the day is over

Nearby cottages stare silently their lace curtains
Hang limply alongside windows dark and blind
I cross two asphalt roads
empty of traffic at this hour

Sand grits beneath my work boots and then
Sand is all there is
The ocean's shore

My steps are suddenly silent
Atlantic waves repeat one word, endlessly
Thalassa, Thalassa... far out to sea
a freighter's lights do duty for the stars

A storm is brewing
the first drops, invisible meteors
make craters in the sand

Ignored I simply become
Part of the sea, the shore
and the rain.

We are lost in the rain,
in a rental car.
The steering wheel is on the wrong side,
as is the traffic.

The sky is the grey of a $5.00 sweatshirt.
Thin and wholly unremarkable.
The road is wet and slick.
We are lost because there are no road signs.

Except for the ones that say 'bump'.
They do not kid around, here.
Bump means a sudden, jarring change of altitude.
And the little rental has a dubious concept of suspension.

We have take to rating the bumps
On a scale of one to five, five being tremendous.
After a five, you check to see if you still have your teeth
And your kidneys.

Maybe it's down here, we say.
Though clearly it is not.
But the alternative is to revisit the roundabout
For at least the fourth time.

It's some sort of factory, on a small bay.
It's either closed or a day off, no lights relieve the gloom.
The rain drums on the roof of the tiny rental.
We turn in the yard, barely able to see.

WHAM! The car drops half a foot.
WHAM! The front wheels climb back to the pavement.
The tires scrabble for purchase while the rental tilts like the Titanic.
I wrench the wheel by instinct.

Wham! Wham!
The back tires mount the wall of the car-sized crater,
and we're fish-tailing back up the lane.
We look at each other for a moment.

SIX!

the road is wet in the morning
northwest normal and I stop
loading the car because the rainbow
of gasoline is spread slick on the asphalt

I think this is gasoline not oil
from the size and color of the slick
I take a picture with my phone
the rainbow against the asphalt in the low light is beautiful

Is this from one car at the stop sign
or is it leaking from the street itself
as it appears and if so, what does that mean?
I comfort myself that it is not from my cars

What is happening to our environment?
where is this from? This is no doubt human
activity
creating this slick. If I dropped a match
on my street would it burn in the rain?

I still want to lie on the street in the rain
sometimes tear my clothes and weep oceans howl
for love for loss for grief. If I did it here
I might be more flammable: ignition achieved

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