Rapvilnel by Ed Ruzicka


Walls explode around a woman
fully dressed in the tub with a cat.
Not a bird in the sky. A mail box
and a toaster oven fly by the window

Because dogs pay attention to pressure
in their joints, they hunker down
in closets, under beds
well before the funnel’s terror

moves across the body of the city
like the finger of a dominatrix,
well before the city becomes
crouching, cries, paralysis, fury.

What gets misconstrued
gets misconstrued up and down the block.
Walls explode around a woman
fully dressed in the tub with a cat.

A Kawasaki crotch rocket
with Michigan tags is thrown
through plate glass at the Piggly Wiggly,
slides to a stop in the cereal isle.

The city is littered with the city.
A red rider mower with a tractor seat
is in the rain. Its shed is matchsticks.
The woman with the cat in the tub
looks into the sky, hopes for over.

When the sky is done with Naperville
great oaks and maples lay on their sides.
Birds come out, dart. Birds rest
on the roots of oaks, of maples.

by Ed Ruzicka

Editor’s Note: The repetition in this poem grounds the reader while the rest of the imagery blows askew within the lines, skillfully reflecting the utter disarray a tornado can make in a life.

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