An air conditioner view,

staring at the big gauche mansions.

What’s in it for me?

A broken gazebo and a dog surrounded

by a barbed wire fence,

chasing his tail in the untamed grasses.


The scar tissue is here

between the skull and the broken lashes.


A bulldozer fixed in place for years.

I knew those people and their grievances.

The blood money comes pouring in,

as they stare above

choking down their tears.


Just a little north,

is where you’ll find them now.

A little farther from the coast

is where they can get the most for their cash.


Hurricanes can’t touch them now.


And when the dog barks I don’t know how

he’ll be able to survive the flood.


The blood money gets them broken basements,

dead bushes, dead roots,

inundated traces

of organic matter.


From winter to summer

all was spring.

But spring came around,

and the deluge came.


You can’t read the engraving

on the headstone anymore.

You saw it once

but it’s gone forevermore.


But to view it twice

would take a strength that’s been shut down since before

the rain poured down.

And we don’t read the Kaddish anymore.


Seven days of sitting shiva;

thirteen years, a boy’s bar mitzvah;

two whole days spent in the morgue,

and just a minute to process what the storm

will do to my island

and the islands all around.


The island is not a

one-man show

according to poets we’ll never know.


With my telescope I just might see

how the waves decimated

you and me.


–Janni Raychuk


Janni’s favorite hobby is writing. If you want to contact her, do so at

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