Typhoon Psalm / alessandra trinidad foley

If mud-
slides liquefy shanties, if water
chokes the piano
keys of a sunken Steinway or a stranded

neighbor on his rooftop sees below
how the road becomes a river,
if a poor swimmer slakes an undertow’s
thirst, if a rain god sows

the seeds that flower to a flood,
then the pause between a lightning
bolt and thunder must come
from hushed, posthumous prayers.
What good

does it do to write tomb-
stone when funeral parlors say, We have no embalming
fluid; when only the face of an orphaned doll peeks
through a mountain’s molten cheeks?

clogged arterial conduits,
drainage pipes, gutter-
lungs gasp for a breath of air.

While gondola-builders glean rubber
drums, plywood scraps, snippets
of rope.  In their chambered ears, the hammer
blows echo: endure, endure.


Born in the Philippines, Alessandra Trinidad Foley now lives in Aberdeen, Scotland.

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