Tornado Back Home

It was the sound of stirring stone fruits
In a stationary blender, and the screens
Guarded discernment, and slats faced the wrong
Way, smoke alarm pierced with the stove

Off, staved itself: just the fridge. I suffocated
My telescope with scalp and cushion, not knowing
My childhood was in a bathtub, while the funnel flung
People, bricks, and glass, levitated spirits inside

Each liquor store. The curb-stomped cars’ teeth
And steel form dental braces on the street,
Enough for six miles and mouths that can take wing
And speak of spoiled milk, power lines and family trees,

Respectively, down, up, slept, mistakenly, through
The abode, phone, and civil defense siren’s crescendo,
Vowels detonating thunder, then sibilant diminuendi—
The word done fizzled and defrosted my house’s windows.



This poem is from Pangyrus’s poetry collection, What Tells You Ripeness: Black Poets on Nature, Edited by Nikki Wallschlaeger (available in our store).

Image: “Chickamauga Tornado” U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, licensed under under CC 2.0.

Prince Bush
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