Breaking the Silence

As Margo has mentioned, I have been “quiet” for the past week or so. There are many reasons for that. One, it’s the end of the quarter, which means piles of papers to grade and record and post. Two, I traveled to New Orleans to run a half marathon, which I completed in 2 hours and 37 minutes, a huge improvement over my time from last May. (I know, it’s slow, but I’m old and not exactly willowy…give me a break.)

While in NOLA, we spent a couple of days at the Voodoo Music Festival, which will merit another post later this weekend. (Highlights included getting backstage to watch Silversun Pickups and a high-energy set from AWOL Nation.) Of course, too much fun has to have consequences – I returned home not feeling very well and have succumbed this evening to a blanket on the couch.

So, while I am sitting here on the couch, I thought I would try to enter the crazy world of November poem-a-month or 30/30 using this Hurricane Sandy prompt from Peter Murphy. (Yes, I know it’s November 2, so I am already a day behind, but I will try to catch up…)  I haven’t posted a poem here in a while, so here you go!

Temporary Refuge

Our stop is underwater now, seawater filling

tunnels, drowning the third rail in silt and salt.

Transformers are built to repel the damage,

but they carry danger in their lines, power

that can leap and migrate to other conductors.


Some say sex has nothing to do with a great

relationship, but we have shared enough

of our own spit and salt to know that is a lie.

You touched me and our skin threw sparks,

every other person on the subway platform


disappearing as we flooded our mouths

with tongue and current. Storm waters subside.

The platforms fill with people. I reach for

your hand. You pull away and a new storm

rips the planks of my ribs to ruin.

2 thoughts on “Breaking the Silence

  1. Congrats on the run, and good to see you back! Feel better soon…

    The hurricane prompt is certainly a ripe one that I’ve been rolling in my head for a couple days as well… have you read Patricia Smith’s “Blood Dazzler”, though? After that, I feel like anything I could say would be self-important and exaggerated in comparison to real horror and real disaster. Still: this is an excellent one, and if you’re doing one every day, I expect many more gems. 🙂

    • I have read Blood Dazzler, and not living in the affected areas, I tried to focus on the relationship part of the prompt. It would have felt wrong to write too much about the storm itself.

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