She’s nothing but breezy chop off Cape Verde showing white like a tiny throat infection and the fever people on the cable channel kiss her and breathe on us out of the Samsung and we don’t know we’ve caught it yet. Come on baby. Come ON. She swells round and comes on. Cat 1 Cat 2. The fever computers spit a cat-o’-nine-tails with the rainbow-colored tails curving northwest, northwest gonna lash down right on TOP of us. Cat 3, OH, the nine tails lift up tighter together we see they’re gonna lash down ON us. We sweat through every shirt we own circling the house fetching or tying tight what her hot breath might take. Shoulda cut that oak. Too late now: Cat 4 and she’s lapping that hot salt water. If she swells to Cat 5 gonna be nothing LEFT. Never one like her NEVER the fever people flush PINK ogling that tight eye wall just about to throw each other over the desks on the set they cut to the bored remote man in flat surf with sea oats behind him not even rustling yet. Boy you better pump up and get with the program.We sleep twelve hours and wake to the governor telling everybody down on the flat coast LEAVE leave right now she’s gonna whip you whip you and drown what’s left of you. Then. Cat 3 Cat 2 Cat 1, bitch what was wrong with our hot blue salt water? Your SISTER drowned three hundred in Asia somewhere or other, the fever people mention in passing but it’s not the three hundred they’re sad about. Soon they buck up. Say don’t let her fool you now she’s gonna lay back fat and wet the SURGE the RAIN are what get you she’s gonna come down and over like you’ve never seen soaking and surging. But we’re SICK of her now we despise the stubborn BITCH won’t follow the fever script and won’t go. When the rain starts for real we clear the standpipe from the johnboat filling with rain three times and still the pond goes over the dam catfish longer than my ARM swim in the YARD before blue sky shows. Fifty souls drowned tree-crushed or scared to death down on the flat coast rivers won’t crest for days they wade in pig shit floating from cesspools they call lagoons like it’s Bora Bora. They find somebody from the LAST ONE two years ago who was STILL ina government FEMA trailer now her FEMA trailer’s washed away and she’ll wait six months in the VERY LAST SHELTER they’ll keep open until they send the new FEMA trailers, not long before the fever beauty with a lightning flash in her eye says we’re gonna wanna watch this white patch off Cape Verde



Michael Wade is a writer in North Carolina. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Pithead Chapel, The Cabinet of Heed, Easy Street, Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, and elsewhere. He has worked as a journalist, critic, scientist, and biotech exec, among other things. Find him on Twitter @michael_mwade.

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