poem: storm

the faucet is on so the pipes don’t freeze; throughout my whole
breakfast and coffee-drinking ritual, the water is a silent
lurker in the background. i have never read Faust, but something

in this snowstorm makes him omnipresent; he is a man and he is
standing in the snow. watching me naked through the window. i put
on an old man’s sweater to cover up, my legs are still

bare. i reheat my oatmeal and my coffee. the house is a craven circle
around me, the snow is a (haggard) crone pressed up desperately
against the window. Faust is making witchcraft circles in the

white, he is observing me. i put on pajama pants under the sweater,
i am reading something set in Japan. far away, there are raggedy
streets doused with human refuse, the bright lights of summer,

and lanterns for the festival. a little girl sits on a cinderblock and writes
someday I will get out of here. Japan has nothing to do with it. i am
sure if Faust would creak into the doors and my open legs, he would

find that we are not so different. i am also trying to get out of here. but
the red snow is heated and insistent, it says keep to your books and your
bare unused legs. it says you are looking for the turn for your poem but

I am the turn, I am the only turn you will find. it batters into my doors
until i go ripe from exhaustion. the dishes are undone. who knows if
the little girl leaves Osaka, if she meets the devil

or takes the wager — the storm eats my face, i do not bother to finish
the book. i lay down in the old man’s sweater in my crypt, in my lantern
and the faucets sing endlessly like i am ophelia and mad and drowned.

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