Lightning cracks a sidewinder whip and
it goes dark. Dim streetlamps flicker,
flash, fog lights amidst the mist, and
rain knocks Morse code from the glass
into the room. The tea kettle reverbs
the code from water to water. As I drink,
words pass my lips, words I had not
thought to speak, but that passed
through my throat in both directions. After
I finish relaying to myself, I blink.

Lightning cracks a tree trunk, and I
catch fire. In that instant, I realize
the rain is tapping torque the
lightning gained. The streetlamps
trip, one after another, and it goes dark.
The rain continues to tap paradiddles
and I twiddle my thumbs impatiently
because I finally understand what it means.

The post will not come today. Mail comes
rain or shine, but lightning is different.
Lightning splits the space between concrete
and sky in two with more force than Sousa's
cymbals. Your letter will arrive later,
if at all.


Trevor Garcia is studying English literature at Chapman University, but finds he spends more of his time writing
poems and playing clarinet than he does studying. He has recently been published in Litterbox Magazine.

Lightning was the 17th poem of mine written for National Poetry Writing Month 2009. It started off as a vague idea, the first line, and hit the ground running from there. Of the 30 poems I wrote that month, it remains my favorite. It was originally about my waiting for a letter from a good friend of mine, but a different part of my life got incorporated into it along the way. 




Copyright 2009