“hurricane season” by Michael Patrick McSweeney

water lashes at the windows
like fingers desperate for continuous stability
while our house shivers we grip music players,
tap screens to bring us voices,
spill emergency wine on our jeans
& guess if the sun has gone down.

if we listen closely we can just barely hear
the soliloquy of a faded flag outside,
but no one can remember if the rippling cloth
was once blue or red. you see, tonight we're desperate
for someone to run outside, use his hands as shields
and tug the halyard of the flag pole
until it quakes with unbreakableness.
we look to the windows to see if help has come,
but all we find are men who question the hearts & minds
of others while the sky sounds like a dying train
& the streets resemble a shuddering mirror.

the night's almost over now, we think,
but the few white drops of light we can see
from our window are covering their eyes, one by one,
& the flagpole is shrouded in wet air.
our phones are alive with the photos of flooded tunnels
in nearby cities & sirens pass like bats on the hunt.
our house shifts, uncomfortable in the moist
& restless earth.

so we huddle, sip cold beer,
pluck new songs from three guitar strings
& wait for our cares to fall asleep.

Michael Patrick McSweeney is an artist and educator from the Boston region. His work has appeared in numerous journals and various regions of the Internet thanks to truly wonderful individuals. He is also the founder and chief financial officer of a used submarine conglomerate, the business website of which can be found at discountsubmarines.wordpress.com, and he hopes you have a great day.