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Tuesday, January 17, 2023


by Alejandro Escudé

The Los Angeles River flows at a powerful rate as a huge storm brings flooding and landslides to the west coast. Photograph: David McNew/Getty Images via The Guardian, January 16, 2023

I listen to Paradise Lost

in my car as the rain pours

at night, picturing the first 

couple as they huddle among 

the grasses and fruits.

From my car window, as if 

up toward heaven, I see an

uphill rain-slick boulevard, 

passenger planes landing 

at LAX, like blurry UFO’s.

The sound is exhilarating,

an aquatic thrashing, my car

sloshing over corner oceans,

the wipers struggling to sweep

a sinless version of the city.

I roll the window down

just as Satan calls out his 

fellow seraphim, like a zillion

tuna schooling out of a 

darkened precipice. 

Even if it’s atmospheric, 

and a river, it’s still rain, 

the wind wind, the forecast?

Our fallen state, our bodies

water-logged, the reflection 

of all the lights at night

splitting heaven and hell

into equal refractions.

Alejandro Escudé published his first full-length collection of poems My Earthbound Eye in September 2013. He holds a master’s degree in creative writing from UC Davis and teaches high school English. Originally from Argentina, Alejandro lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.