Clouds are the Rorschach test today.
Church bells toll the hour
for those who’ve come to analyze
dilemmas of the sky.
As if destination were destiny.
A 747 at cruising altitude,
all those people bound to Houston
by their contrails.
The chamber smells of sweat and progress,
coffee tastes brown as dirge.
The talk is acid rain. A mushroom-
cloud inked on the markerboard
horizon. The sky is a kindergartner’s
coloring book which the teacher has ruined
with a red pencil.
No, the sky’s no more
than a memory of summer vacation.
Come outside. The wind
has rubbed its eraser over all those
crisscross plane-tracks that tie
the sky up. Tell me what’s left?
of exhaust over-written
by the sky’s own cirrus: a soft
white flame floating in a beaker –
no, a basin – a goblet
full of blue.
What does it look like to you?
Taylor Graham is a volunteer search-and-rescue
dog handler in the Sierra Nevada. Her poems have appeared in
International Poetry Review, The Iowa Review, The New York
Quarterly, Poetry International, Southern Humanities Review, and
elsewhere, and she's included in the anthology, California
Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present (Santa Clara
University, 2004). Her book The Downstairs Dance Floor (Texas
Review Press, 2006) was awarded the Robert Phillips Poetry
Chapbook Prize. Her latest is Among Neighbors (Rattlesnake