Alissa Carrier
Final Florida

My father thinks I donít know how to come
in from the rain, literally.
Every time the clouds curdle he walks
that slow, slouchy heaving step to my room
to see if I know how to shut my window
to see if rain has swept in, swept me out.

Mother says, Donít dare drink the water in Florida,
Itís from black clouds, and I know a couple
in Daytona that died.
  Youíve heard stories
of lovers in separate places that say the same thing
at the same time, die the same death.
Some think thatís romantic fate, she thinks
itís clouds in Florida, the same clouds
Jesus called father, the ones that spark
and putteróold manís pace maker.
They move in packs like cigarettes, like spies.

Itís not up to you, mother mumbles.
If you leave it alone, it might just happen anyways.
Think of all the surprises about to happen.

These are her disjointed termsóI forgot
what our conversation was about anyways
as I stand, walk out the kitchen door.
Father has pulled out
of the driveway and there is thunder,
a chaosmos in the air.
I almost love surprises.  I almost wrote hate.

Tomorrow if my roof caves, the weeping
willow falls into my bedroom, hail through
my window, I will know to call for help but no one
will reach me before the clouds set in,
my last breath like stale wind.

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