Cottonwood
The sky barks and claps,
a hungry performer,

both exhaustive and applauding
as a confused child might through a tantrum –

the rain is quick, sudden, expectant, tongues wet lips,
the sky opens, sighs, shutters and flutters,

Angel calls out for the flutterbies,
she cannot say 'butterflies'

and we close our eyes as vision melts
from the edges of our faces into a rush of cottonwood snow –

a sneeze, continue,
continue,

continue, she is driving to Dallas,
toward the hurricanes and heat,

we stay behind, pose for contradictory portraits of ourselves,
move within the frame of mind, shutter-shy sometimes,

smile as though it meant anything,
brush the cottonwood from our hair,

wake in the night with its bitter bark thick on our tongues.