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April 18

I drive home in a yellow light
I want to call unnatural
but it’s nature’s own alarm.

It’s not green, so I think I’m safe
curving through farms
as the sun disappears.

I listen to my sister on a podcast.
The dome starts to light up.
Through the speaker

I hear her voice—
chaotic, violent, alcoholic—
as the lightning streaks

down on all sides
like the stripes of a parachute
children billow and step into.

She asked me to use these words, too,
and I agreed,
but now I wonder if they’re mine.

The next morning I say soberly,
knowing how full the moon is
behind the clouds,

maybe I want to be awake to my own life
maybe it’s safe to try that now
maybe it’s time for us to dial it down.