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Sunday, September 14, 2014


by David Chorlton

The streets flowed easily,
one into another, and the full moon rolled
behind the clouds. Thunder
beat against the door
to wake a sleeper who had been dreaming
disconcerting dreams
and who rose to ghost to the kitchen
through the living room, whose darkness
was tempered by reflections
coming from the raindrops as they filled
with light from the streetlamps
coming down.
                     The house was floating
on insomnia. A television
flashed on, and the evangelist who never sleeps
strode up and down a stage
wearing a suit cut from sharkskin and stars
while he turned a Bible’s pages
as if counting money. The next
channel showed a drama
in which throats were slashed
convincingly, and the story turned back
on itself until the guilty party
took her own life with a gesture
worthy of an opera. It was a fine
entertainment for the hour
the early local news
that revealed the city under water
with nightlights and headlamps and searching
while saguaros took in more water
than their roots could hold
and tumbled with a splash
onto the ground. By dawn’s early light
on the freeway,
                        car roofs broke a surface
so calm it was more
beautiful than the usual
rush to be somewhere
other than here. The bickering
over climate change stalled
with the traffic;
                        replaced by this new
experience leaving everyone
impressed by nature’s power.

David Chorlton came to Arizona in 1978 after living in England and Austria. He has spent more than three decades stretched between cultures and writing poetry, the pick of which has just appeared as his Selected Poems, from FutureCycle Press.