Naples, Florida

Ange Mlinko

Winter 2019

National Weather Service Warnings
interrupted Opus 3, number 2
on the drive back from the store.
From our grotta smeralda (Green Cove Springs)
to our grotta azzurra(same, but Blue)
a band of thunderstorms set the score
with straight-line winds and pizzicato strings.

Is this what you want for a metaphor?
This big carwash of a state, its moss; mildew
hosed with palm-tree scrubbies and tornadoes
—this glorified sandspit, and not for
nothing are you asked if it’s “growing on” you—
it spurns the sweet airs of a landscape like Prospero’s.
Its substrate is pocked with larger bore.

(So said the Saner Voices, who’d followed me
for decades and knew well
what and how I felt.) At least East Texas
was honest in its ugliness; Beirut’s ruined beauty
wins Miss World in our opinion; hell
is this here guns-and-gators nexus
you paper over with incongruity . . .

I played Italian podcasts in the car,
or schooled myself with baroque music

Ange Mlinko teaches at the University of Florida. Her most recent poetry collection is Distant Mandate.

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