Everything is more distracting than the clouds
they are never there they move on
no one can say remember that cloud
we saw in college it's still there
let's go see it again they walk their dogs in the park
they raise the plastic shade on the airplane window
and see a low region surrounded by thin peaks
all of it unreal white needle-shaped mountains like a scroll
of Chinese painting a landscape not even imagined
which disappears when the plane flies through it
and emerges in the blue air over the monotonous sorghum fields below
and everything changes a Diet Coke sprays open
the distracting flight attendant glides past
but the clouds continue to gather
they fail and dissipate they come from the east
where the sea makes them form
or they come from the west
full of ragweed and pollen too small to see
everyone breathes it all day
distracted by a song a friend sings
over and over white miraculous shifts overhead
the clouds reflected in the surface of a cocktail
completely ignored drink and cloud ignored
while a woman takes her clothes off in front of a man
who smiles shaded by the passing helicopter's rotors
tearing up the stratus clouds and flinging now
her shirt at him
rain falling in her almost unnaturally light blue eyes
when he looks closely reflected there
in the morning the whole sky
is a lusty pink lamp turned on
a little girl stands openmouthed in her pajamas
she is his daughter it is five o'clock in the morning
the city still sleeps the clouds fly out to sea
how many people saw them this morning
the citizens who turn their backs on the leaves and insects
who turn their faces to the light of their rooms
when the clouds are the color and shape of flaming brigantines
gone up in a dark harbor but they're distracted
from the mare's tails if they looked up they'd see
there's nothing to be afraid of
a high-pressure system is moving in the air is cooler now
the sky is a mild blue something
has changed