It came in a hurry. And when it came,
It was called landfall. We watched it
Sink in a cascade of screams. A bridge
Now a gull soaring in the white sky.
We thought it might bring devastation,
But it brought the opposite, a composite
Of seasons. So that, winter and spring
Became one in the same. Summer. Fall.
Together they unfolded a grayer time,
Gray as morality. To understand, you
had to stand on a corner in Long Beach,
4th and Pine, listening for a hurricanes’
Passing, the dipping of the Godhead,
As a lone thin, black man on a bicycle,
Whistling, made a long, widening turn
To wait out the crossing light, the storm
That no one saw, and no one saw coming.
The wound is real. Imaginings turn
and we’re off. Seeds and sidewinders. The wind,
its lack of articles. I walk into the refrigerator
and it feels like another planet. Cold and hot.
I chug a double-expresso, and I’m back. Scissors
can never be borrowed. I’m much less angry.
Even with the gas station attendant
who gave me back the wrong change
for lotto tickets. I drove back and calmly
asked for another computer pick, which she gave me.
What would happen if I won the seven million?
Would the gas station demand the money? Someone
who works for the lotto knows the answer to that question.
Cool and overcast tonight. A dog barks.
All those heads turning to look at my daughter, who’s five
as she hops and runs back to the car.
I’m not comfortable with that—but the people
make nice faces from their own cars
and I don’t mind nice faces.
Alejandro Escudé’s first book of poems, My Earthbound Eye, was published in September 2013. He holds a master’s degree in creative writing from UC Davis and teaches English. Originally from Argentina, Alejandro lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.