Winter skinned its knuckles on the curbside,
salt and pebbles running jagged through the
many variants of grey and sopping.
Cars and footsteps carve the mounds like eons.
Knock the dying tree: the wind is not im-
posing its belligerence, its snarls, its
rotten attitude, for it has business
elsewhere, since the elements, too, are on
someone else's clock; they're paid in wreckage.
There are cottage industries that dedi-
cate their time to picking up the slack should
pressure systems high and low do not col-
lide as they anticipate. This is their prayer.
Take the big fans out of the garage, and
pluck the mothballs from the snow machines, so
I can dump a storm of polyacry-
late and shredded paper towels on your
stoop. I beg of you, small-talk with me a-
bout the five-day forecasts that you read like
tarot cards by candlelight, divining.