for my father
In the latest projection, Irma creeps
up the spine of the supine peninsula.
We lie sober in our safe room,
foundation beneath us, rooted to the soil
doors and windows shut tight, radio, flashlight,
extra batteries and covered shoes at hand
so we can run from room to room
between gusts, snaps and thuds
as if we might save what we’ve built
from intrusion, elements we’ll never escape.
As the fluids left my father’s body,
he tracked my moving mouth, a salt river
smelling of seaweed and grief.
His good eye would see me through
my slips, the mopping up
I’d always do when storms swept in
then out with who we were,
so sure we’d not be hit again.
When I was as tiny as a country
seen from light years away,
he held me high above the swirling sea
that was the beginning and the end of everything.