Power Outage

The main road, the only road.
The main road, the only road.

Swelling with irritation

That pains my knuckles

And that soft spot

Behind the knee,

I look at candles burning

In the dimming light

Of a setting sun

Behind rain-spent clouds.

Earlier, when the candles

Were slightly taller

Than they are now,

They told me to speak

Without knowing

What exactly to say.

The muted whispers

And moistened exhales

That taste of milk tea

Boiled on a warm

Sunny day and hot

Balmy night,

But now escapes

On windy, chilled gales.

I breathe the sweet grass

And patches of dried earth

Not yet quenched by

Sporadic showers from above,

But it transforms

Into half-hearted mutters

And exaggerated gestures.

The phone plays

A haunting eight bit waltz

Ringing for hours,

Not yet answered

Because its owner is

Threshing weeds in her

Checkered garden

Of vegetables and seeds

Yet unborn.

Learning from drowning myself

Into the vastness of this

Cracked, speckled ocean

Having lost my bell chord

And feeling the pressure

Of furthering depths

Pressing against the metal bars

Across my viewing glass.

Composed 06/20/2012

Author’s comments: We had a storm during training and lost power for three days. It really didn’t change anything about how we lived. The family always used a wooden stove outside to cook, so the only thing that changes was that we boiled bath water on the larger stove inside. Just another day in the village.

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