Red Morning

The view from my house: another Phoenix summer day begins.

The new day begins with the same
bleak forecast of record temperatures

and incessant he said she
said the rain said. Who to believe?
The clouds or the wind? Left
or right? The Buddhists or the Pentecostals?
The thunderclap that passed

through in the night was a headache
searching for a brow to occupy

and rain wandered lost
while lightning slept with one eye open.
Will Heaven’s floodgates open
on this day? Or will there be

a drum roll in the sky
when the birds
turn into sound with wings?

David Chorlton lived in Vienna for most of the 1970s before moving to Phoenix. It was an exchange of wind and rain for the desert heat and a cultural shift. He has a non-fiction book published this year that tells the story of a 1961 murder near Vienna, for which one of his cousins was wrongly convicted. That is "The Long White Glove," from New Meridian Arts. Read other articles by David.