Wanton Weather

Snowfall wears a surgical mask
in this age of feckless disease.

Because it clings to every surface,
it risks spreading a virus

powerful enough to French-kiss
every virgin into a frenzy.

I’m afraid to go out and shovel
the spongy mess from the driveway.

Already I can taste its lewd
and acidic texture laving

over my face as I strain to lift
shovelful after shovelful

to only the faintest applause.
Let’s stay indoors and watch it melt.

But you with your germproof snowsuit
have already rushed into the storm.

Before I get my boots laced up
you’ve cleared a path to the road

so the Mask of Red Death can find us,
if he happens to be on the prowl.

The daylight’s too thick to swallow
without difficulty. The roar

of oil burner in the basement
reassures with the ancient language

of fire brought smartly up to date.
What would Faustus say if faced

with this slur of wanton weather?
Would he feel his soul collect itself,

don a parka, and set out to meet
the devil at the bend in the road?

I feel nothing but the snowfall
plastering every detail

to render the landscape rococo
and mock our aesthetic mood.

William Doreski's work has appeared in various e and print journals and in several collections, most recently Train to Providence, a collaboration with photographer Rodger Kingston. Read other articles by William.