It Really Came Down

by David Kunkel

Up late at night, having read the word “decay”
I think of a sparrow dead in our asphalt lot.
It flattened from three dimensions
in insufficient time. Now I can’t imagine
the film of feathers might ever have been alive.
Less than a week past it stormed, an unidentifiable
entity, the weather system stalling over
Cross Country Road, flooding traffic cones,
building islands from subdivisions
impossible to escape. Or reach, depending on where
you were at four, when whoever running your meeting
declared they could hear the rain. Costco closed.
When I borrowed my last member card
I spotted two birds fluttering between shelves. I swear.
All week new forecasts terrified. The rains never left.

It should have stormed for hours—6 70, 7 80, 8 100.
Only now comes the burst of energy,
the lights fading, dimmed as if fighting back, and
I ought to go to bed, but I stay to watch the lamp,
rooting pathetically for the light bulb to win.

David Kunkel writes poetry and fiction from his home in Madison, Wisconsin. His poems have appeared in a number of magazines, including Bitterzoet, Poetry Quarterly, Eclectica, and Rumble Fish Quarterly.