The sun shines and the rain falls
when the devil is beating his wife
in the backyard ballet
pink tulips ball up
lilacs thrash like scribble
and the air smells sick
sweet with sweat.
On the car radio a voice begins
There is not a dichotomy between civility and protest
but a caller
Civility is used as a tool of oppression
of what’s noninclusive.
a woman pays for yellow
with a gift card and change.
She pulls up her pant leg
to show me a bull's-eye
that spans the width of her calf.
Doctor says it's not lyme’s
what do you think?
I tell her I am not a doctor
but I would get a second opinion.
By the newspaper rack a headline asks
Why Did Nonbelievers Grieve for Notre-Dame?
next to a child tugging a woman’s shirt sleeve
I don’t want spaghetti!
Then grow up to be somebody
the woman pulls free.
In the parking lot puddles reflect
the same old
of a time
As the spirit comes
the spirit goes.
A car alarm sounds
a man grunts Goddamnit
a woman puts her hands up
You said it was open!
A voice beneath an umbrella shouts
at a body ten paces away
My daughter! You got no right!
The umbrella snaps backward in wind
baring a pinch-faced woman who screams
Back in the car the radio continues
You’re one angry word from a shove
you're one angry word from a punch
you're one angry word from an objectively dangerous situation.
The windshield wipers streak
the width of a maple seed pod.
The road ahead blurred
wakes against the sea wall.
In the driveway the beating ends
and the sky turns purple and then it glows red
and I stand beneath it for a long time
holding a bag of lemons
listening to gospel coming from an open window
swaying in step to the thundering clapping
How I got over this longing for home.
The hallelujah came forth
without prophetic illusion
there was no pierced heart rising in thorns
it was just the end of April
when season breaks season
and snake eats tail
when the soul of the world
the organ of breath
no longer in need of salvation.