Sonnet #196

First the dust swarmed off the decaying grasslands
Where heat and drought and construction
and all the ruined places will function
like a dust storm; a blistering, swelling band
of hot, hot wind pouring up from the south
with clouds behind them, a sweeping summer
storm, first dust, then fat drops, the shimmer
of a rainbow somewhere, the sudden truth:
This should be a reprieve, but it will be worse
The sun is back in minutes, the water hurts
the breathing more, now, and where the burst
should have made us cleaner, the coarse
sand sticks damp the oil is lifted up to slick
But won’t wash, like little hope, it makes us sick

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