What Happens To Home

Nights in the city I dreamed of disaster:
a ceaseless flood and I was stuck
on the topmost floor of tallest towers 
all windows, all water, no stars, no end.
Glass, all.  Or riots in the zoos

and they were shooting all the zebras.
The rarest African rodents lay dead
in the wake of the vengeful throng.  Terrified,
I escaped with help from the elephants,
but woke forgetful, uneasy, with sudden

nostalgia for a life that was never mine.
The filmy hangover of dreams
trailed me for days, and my wristwatch
always an hour slow until the next neon
night, twisted in sheets.  Long past dusk

I saw fields filled with rushing city crowds,
bomb-threats in barns and I had to save the cows.
The last night in August, sticky hot,
I cut off my hands and threw them in the river.
As darkness paled into September, I packed

the car and drove toward the tornados;
did not stop until the sickly yellow sky
was split through the heart, broken
by tall tunnels of prairie earth,
ripped into sky and spun back to ocean.

5 September 2001