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The Weather Makers, by Matt Rader

October 18, 2009

We carry it with us wherever

we go, like germs or secrets,
genetic pre-dispositions

to illness. It dogs us, has our scent,
our number, an uncanny knack
bordering on the psychic to know

where we’ll turn up next and be hot
on our heels or already there
waiting to greet us. A crooked wire

of lightning we snagged
in the under carriage and dragged
across the badlands, that long scratchpad

of highway to come-what-may and everything
after. Unshakeable, we wake to hear it
stomping on rooftops, tapping

like small rocks against the window
of our hearts, or knocking-out
the power like artillery in some Iraqi

province. Socked-in and stalked by
cloud-cover sent in the spirit of good
detective work or bounty hunters

meant to bring us to justice,
we are on the lamb from our own
Captain Ahab, Pat Garrett, guilt

over those early experiments
in greed and curiosity we could say
created the situation at hand. Next time

we are in your town, watch for a twister
to touch down a few inches from where you stand.
All it takes is a whiff. Tag. You’re it.

From Living Things
Nightwood Editions, 0-88971-223-9
http://nightwoodeditions.com/title/LivingThings

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