Monday, August 29, 2011



I shall call him Nero,
you may call him what you will.

Nero, he’s the one fiddled while Rome burned?
This one idles a computer
while it rains.
And floods.

I work, my arms ache
my back—
but mostly my heart and hands
wringing with heaviness.
Over and over
heavy water on the floor
heavy tears

The sky is dark
and pouring.
Darker my heart
and it rains,
and it floods.

Nero reads a book,
sipping wine.
I mop, sweeping in long strokes.
My hands are soft,
the work is hard.
I wring towels
into buckets of dark bubbles,
my muddied dreams.
Over and over
for hours.

Nero comments wryly
“Better get on the roof and see where it’s coming in.”


But Nero will have better things to do tomorrow.
And the next time it rains
as the last time—
and every time and time again
down the years.

When it rains
it floods.

Over and over
the towels sop and sop
I wring and wring,
and my heart
is hardened against him.

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