• 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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