From the Borzoi Reader, Stan Rice’s “Tornado at Night.” I’m glad the vast majority of our severe weather arrives in the late afternoon/early evening. Night tornadoes are something else.
Tornado at Night
They ran out in nightgowns to seek the protection
Of the overhang of the abandoned gas station,
And resembled the Erecthium’s female columns.
The broken power lines flashed white
When they touched the wet ground,
And the girls’ legs showed
As round shadows through their nightgowns.
I stayed in my apartment until the steps blew away.
My candle almost extinguished itself from sheer shaking.
A huge tree fell on my neighbor’s car.
He was in it for safety.
Out he leaped from the unsquashed half
Making the voice of Donald Duck running from death.
I jumped from my balcony then,
And went walking in excess, shirtless,
Praising, opening my mouth, sleek the whips,
Shirtless, as when gods were men.