Don't let your baby cry
frothed in the milk of a tornado.
In this belt it happens all the time.
Shrieking in braided winds they
get dumped in the grocery store parking lot.
The plaza, which is being expanded,
includes a goodlife a credit union
and an adjacent smoothie bar.
Teeth the size of your hand
smile from advertisements pasted on plywood
barring public access to the wound.
Its mouth ratcheted open,
throat a hole in which to bury
tendrils of the new condo.
We must be desperate to
dig so deeply, seeking stability.
I toss my cigarette into the gutter with its brothers
while waiting for my bus, watching the apocalypse.
Tornado babies are born with a desire to live
greater than at any other point.
But I've seen one choke on the stick inside a pogo
because it was never taught to chew or swallow.
They do not know about many important things;
like razor blades or parking tickets
or buying groceries after work
while all day
your boy friend smoldered in bed
drinking the cheapest beer, streaming movies.
Coughing from exhaust fumes
I see one crawl behind the wet straw set up
by the grocery store to emote a rural fantasy.
Perhaps it thought it could build a nest.
Make a home among a cart of watermelons
a stand of cut flowers,
and the gangly remains of potted highbush blueberries
too root bound to see spring.