Wednesday, April 10, 2019

the cloud

the cloud sat over the city for weeks
no larger than a man’s hand
and not even a large man’s hand at that
dogs howled and howled
all night and day     the birds
went silent as if afraid to sing
there was the occasional scratch of lightning
usually one thick skein crabbing its way
between empty road and captive sky
its announcement an itch on the eye

that cloud seemed a judgement
its thick inky presence seeping
into the streets and alleyways and homes
murders of crows the only croaking
sound jabbing the air electric
with potential     the fear     the waiting
they sent planes to test this apparition
that haunted our sleep     this imposition

that cloud invaded our dreams at night
and our conversations during the day
it felt like a judgement staring at us
implacably     like stone     every moment
hovering above us like a black sun
one day it dissipated on its own
somewhat anticlimactically    
the dogs stopped howling
the pigeons cooed     mice scurried    
the roads filled up again with distractions
until we forgot what it was
to face our fear and give it a name