5 September 2009 | Vol. 9, No. 3

Nocturne with Perpetual Downpour

Because I have waited too long to ask why we deserve this,

           it keeps pounding harder than we ever imagined. Awnings

                      have collapsed over every balcony, cars start floating

gently down the streets, and even rats nestled in the sewers

           have already drowned. But still there's no flood, no looting.

                      Why we didn't leave earlier I'll never know. In the street:

toy wheels dipping and gliding, doll heads with their hair

           still attached, bobbing like sun-drenched apples. I wish

                      I knew where you were right now. A woman's screaming,

My Angel, My Angel, at the top of her lungs, chasing something

           lifeless down the sidewalk, no waders to keep her from tripping

                      into the water with every step. I think about you huddled

in the corner with the doctor, the day you wanted to tell her

           you'd be leaving, and I knew you wouldn't do it then. Too long,

                      you always said, with every decision you tried to make.

As the roof leaks everywhere, I'm not sure what's left

           to be fixed, as more and more fight through the water, waiting

                      for something to give, for something to keep them safe again.

printer-friendly | printer

About the author:

Keith Montesano's first book, Ghost Lights, a finalist for the 2008 Orphic Prize, will be published by Dream Horse Press in 2010. Other poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Hayden's Ferry Review, American Literary Review, Third Coast, Ninth Letter, Crab Orchard Review, Another Chicago Magazine, River Styx, Hunger Mountain, and elsewhere. He is currently a PhD Candidate in English at Binghamton University.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Keith Montesano at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 9, No. 3, where "Nocturne with Perpetual Downpour" ran on September 5, 2009. List other work with these same labels: poetry.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

copyright © 2001-2011
XHTML // CSS // 508