• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 07


I live in tornado alley at the northern tip but was born in the southern grip of the Ohio Valley where heated river currents spawn torrential funnels
that churn fields, wood, concrete, and steel.

That was where I learned to ride the twister’s tail—those great serpentine winds—to let them blow through me, to open like the windows and doors of our house as the vigor and drama
sank through skin and muscle, slid over bones and blew away
like demons from a nightmare.

The twisting tail drilled roots in soil that it wasn’t meant for and in its cycling coils,
it swept away both the dead and the living, both loose particles of tilled soil
not yet planted, seeds not yet rooted, the dreams of some
and the lives, too, leaving no promise
that it would not come again.

I learned to ride the green sky and bear the nearness
of Armageddon like those of us who were born
in the serpent’s path.