Remember My Body
by Michael Quattrone

Sometimes when I feel sick the thunder comes
from across the valley to comfort me. Did you
know lightning is married to thunder? She blazes
a trail to help him find me when I’m in fever.

You might say I am their child. Outside, the rain
is beating all the dead ideas back into the earth,
and the small creatures fold them underneath
the top skin of this dry place. When I feel sick

the wind moves like my dreams in fits and gusts
or doesn’t move at all. I am sleeping inside
my house, and the house is like my mind
when I am sleeping. Inside, there is a girl.

She is listening to the rain fall on the roof
and the air press on the walls and windows.
Even with her eyes closed, she can see
the flashes coming closer. Thunder’s drum

reports from the far mountains. Soon. Soon.
The small creatures feel his approach. Their bodies
are the eardrums of the earth. More water falls,
but earth is very thirsty. No trouble swallowing,

like me. My skin is cold, but inside I am hot.
The bed is damp, and now the room is dark.
Father, I am waiting. Mother, here I am. The fallen
leaves will flee and scatter, gather and depart.

Will you still come to my bed? I will hear
your footsteps and try to open my eyes. I am
dreaming about the garden of tomorrow.
The heat of the afternoon, the small creatures

will be so happy then. Green shoots will glow.
But now it’s dark outside. After the storm, a rest.
Thank you, thunder, for the wide arms of your comfort.
I knew you would be here, I knew you would.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 23, Issue 2.

Michael QuattroneMichael Quattrone is the author of a chapbook, Rhinoceroses (New School, 2007). His poems have appeared in journals like New York Quarterly, Barrow Street, and Pool, as well as the anthologies Best American Erotic Poems (Scribner, 2008) and the Incredible Sestina Anthology (Write Bloody, 2018). His album of original songs, One River (Wolfe Island Records, 2018) is widely available. Michael studied at Northwestern University and the New School. He lives in the Hudson River Valley.

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