a poem by Mark Kessinger
Irma has ground against Cuba all night,
the Cuban mountains shearing off energy
right out of the winds as high as
six thousand foot peaks.
The sierra Maestra, Cristal and others
Form a serrated blade in the nose bleed seats.
For us, we had places called Port Lavaca, Rock Port.
Nicknames for surf side, sea level.
At an altitude similar to a good size boat.
Harvey ran inland and up the Balcones Escarpment,
a slow rise of a thousand feet or so.
Coastal plains, prairie, low chaparral, until,
like a rail road car on a runaway hill,
it lost steam and slowly began to run back down
towards the coast.
It’s catastrophe week in hurricane season.
Right now Fort Myers is in the eye of Irma.
It has been cut down to a Cat 2.
winds at the airport 80 mph, gusts to 101.
Hopefully this cuts down the storm surge
which can come in right under foot in the sandstone ground
and not just up the rivers and canals of
a boat crazy civilization.
Like Houston, there does not seem to be
any easy answers for Florida.
Houses that float, perhaps, like in NOLA.
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But for the most part,
if the future is full of answers,
it’s holding its breath.
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