After the hurricane, I still grip
paper plates, my phone, my daughter
the six hours lost on the road
west toward Tampa
as if everything
all of us struggling to stay
afloat on that highway
will be split down the middle
by pine trees high as beanstalks
and carried away on waves
more giant than whale.
When we returned from exile
we pushed our stories over cash registers
into the foreign faces of grocery clerks
bussed in from neighboring towns
through relieved teeth and jugs
of spring water, new meat:
for days we slept
in the heat from our bodies
the children played outside.
Port Orange, FL
I'm an associate professor of English at Daytona State College and a recent survivor of Hurricane Matthew. I've published across genres, but this winter, you'll find my work in Dying Dahlia and Hypertrophic.