she decided those years had been water vapor,
condensed, then ruptured
into an updraft,
the mad air ascending,
the vertical spin
flicking like a bullwhip over a field

an inkling, a shimmying
spine of wind

that's what it was like, she said,
volatile conditions

the air rolling horizontally
like a pencil,
clouds the color of asphalt and moss,
a disturbance first under the skin, then
sibilance in the leaves,

a colossal vessel of air
assembling, lifting off like spun smoke,
the invisible suddenly utterly there,
shapely, voracious

rising to wreckage:
metal, shingles, his things, hers,
glass and laceration --

you do what it takes to keep yourself whole

in Andover the sirens fail,
homes turn to shrapnel, roofs tear off
like flimsy lids, rooms empty
into the sky

the Golden Spur Mobile Home Park
flattened, gone, a sink in the street, a nightstand
with its shot of vodka

she said she'd heard that coins fuse in pockets,
that potatoes bake where they lie
in the earth    cows fly by creaming

in springtime the warm sweet hours
between noon and the first star
are most unstable     a car hovers
three feet over the ground in Wichita

then it's gone

garage doors sail the streets
like sheets of paper, a woman sits
in a ditch beside a tractor

gathers herself, her watch
gone, and her shoes

the tree at her feet blown to kindling

she swears before it spent itself
it turned scarlet --

an elongated seething heart, or a mouth
devouring a nursery of geraniums

they don't touch down you know, she said,
they take everything with them