In times of acute crisis we take off our subset hats and put on our superset ponchos. In liquids temperature replaces the democratic process. In our chests our hearts work like towels wringing themselves out. After the astronauts evaporated no one could wear white unselfconsciously. In the paintings of this period Reagan is portrayed in profile because of the knife wound on his cheek. The knife wound is shaped like Hispaniola.
By now you are missing the book I abstracted from amongst your cool possessions. By now the stormfront is skulking past the black chest of drawers. Either we are dancing or parts of your body are trying to contact me at regular intervals. Three of the worst lightnings are: Ball, Institutional, Uncompleted. After the sky cleared there were pictures of hurricanes hanging from all of the branches. Scattered around the tree trunks are hundreds of empty beers.
Now that recycling aluminum is not the primary burden of the civilized world. Now that part of the problem is how exhausted the stars must be. I feel like I can remember more brilliant coronas and a further away horizon. Now that our paintings are either portraits of presidents or pictures of hurricanes, or the faces of presidents on the bodies of hurricanes. In this formulation, the furthest thing from Hispaniola is the top of the tallest hill on Hispaniola.
Sometime in our communal future, sometime after the starbeams have blown off our pasts, work will not seem like work anymore. Songs about all of us will seem more like songs about each of us. New carols will erupt from the throats of preteen North America. Either we are dancing or the water inside us is shuddering through its parochial phases. Either we are cycling over the hills like hurricanes, or all that we wish for is a tiny wisp of straw.