Hotel Beach/After the Hurricane

Afterwards I said the palm tree was like a snake
coiling around the delicate outdoor bannister
but Janette said like a swan courting a swan.

The cabanas were nothing but sticks, like war.
We took pictures of each other climbing the rubble
looking incongruously tan, and healthy.

Others began climbing the ruins with us.
The woman who’d kept running up and down the stairs
hoping maybe the hurricane wouldn’t see her.

The couple who’d slept as if rocked
in a cradle, though their beds shook
all night like dice in a loose fist.

All of us escaping, it seemed, from something.
Janette from the thing with her mother and brother.
I just arrived from the place for the almost crazy.

As if we’d stepped out of our lives
like out of some bad pairs of shoes.
And our lives would never be able to find us.