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.
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.