Claudia Grinnell
Weather

Before galaxies, stars or planets, exotic snowflakes fluttered through
the universe in the first and extremely dark cosmic winter,
astronomers theorize.
--CNN, 11.28.02


I.

And then a bunch of happy happy atoms came and gobbled
up the snowflakes and that was the end of that
particular golden age.  Before too long there were accountants,
and Orange Glow and free-range chicken
and someone looks in amazement at a book discovered
in the vulgar cellars of the Capitol building.
Autographs in that book would go for tens of 1000s on eBay.
In another country, neighbors think that 12 winters in black nylon
is a cause for concern.  The child is bound and gagged
and roughly pulled from the anorak and inserted
into fuchsia silk.  This winter turns out the warmest on record.


II.

Divine!  Yes, absolutely, the silky voice croons: cloves
from Zanzibar, rubies from Persia
and now they are behind, dead
last.  I pass rubies after breakfast and call my broker.  He fired
several cruise missiles at someone making an illegal left.  Heís busy
collecting prizes for first-time novelists.  He hasnít written anything
in decades.  He may have to get a job soon.  Byzantine bureaucracies
depend on his peculiar ability to sharpen a pencil, draw a line, and divide
by zero.  Itís a miracle, really, how one man can eat all those burgersó
hair, jacket, belt and all.  Heís hungry all the time, or so he says, and starts
gnawing through the asphalt parking lot.  When he hits oil,
he comes up drenched and swings his arms wide like James Dean.


III.

Honestly, it hasnít snowed here in decades.

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