The grainy meowing yowl of

fated fighting cats

on a wet gray day—

it makes the clouds curl,

the whole sky sour and curdle.


This is the desert’s December.

This and St. Augustine,

newly gold in paint,

blessing the parking lot

(just like a saint).


It’s just like a saint

to care about concrete,

the crowded bus stop,

the men on the bench.

The park is full of them;

of Men On The Bench.


But it’s the rain and how it falls:

it doesn’t really fall.

It crawls along the backs of

the fought-out cats.

The rain is always something

that comes and goes.

“Here comes the rain.”

The rain has gone.”


It never falls, it crawls along

dragging thunder with it;

with limbs tied like sticks

that break the ties and fall—

a dull hollow fall

that clutters as it clatters.

And everything that flutters

has flown

but the finch.

[From the Along the Gulf series]

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