I wanted to write a poem about delay
The white space between word and music
One night in Ohio a decade ago
Under a thunderstorm’s bad blank verse

As I counted aloud between lightning and clap
A friend tackled me to the ground
To shut me up so he could hear it, the faint
Percussion I could just call thunder

If I wanted to be clear
I’ve tried to write this poem for years
But can’t and won’t, as every line
Falls faster than I can chase it, acid raindrop

Seeping into clover, garbage lyrics
Rising through its stem, poetry almost
As toxic as the city
Spraying my neighborhood down

A pesticide to x the little messengers
So megafauna can continue
Planting real estate
Some sad poet named this chemical Duet

The friend who tackled me got sick
I visited as he received a drip of what I called
Quicksilver in an early draft, but it was just
Poison, I mean chemo, which saved his life

Duet on the apple blossom, duet in the core
Nights drift by to be surveilled
For words, as thunder splits the poem again
Half of it standing up and counting

Half of it tackled into clover
Pollen painted with our syntax
Pulses once then meets a cell
The rain is light years away

Daniel Poppick