Every night, there is a thunderstorm in Central Florida
or a rocket launch, most likely it is thunder.
We will lose power and fumble for flashlights—
the life of an optimist, never preparing for the dark.
My sister has OCD. Her husband left her a lot of money.
She fills her days balancing checkbooks. The constant clack
of her oversized Hello Kitty calculator keys, the
litany of her transactions gives me hives.
Every night, we have a thunderstorm in Central Florida,
it is a welcome relief to the heat—something’s gotta give,
it’s like a pregnant woman’s water breaking,
every night the water breaks and the rain is born.
When I applied for my dead ex’s Social Security,
I found out he never paid into the system—
welcome to the underground economy.
My car was towed after I waited hours for this news.
You’d think the rain would cool things off.
I am not sure where the lizards go when it storms,
they are always back afterwards. Rubbery,
they leap onto your head and don’t let go
like anxieties you can’t get rid of without years of therapy.
The natives of Central Florida pull off lizards’ tails
knowing they will regenerate, amphibian evolution
much more advanced than our own.
At the top of Dartmouth Street
in an unused rusted playground
wild daisies take root in the mud.
Twelve-year-old Dejah Joyner liked to be called Daisy.
Daisy lived and died on Dartmouth Street, a street
in Hempstead, Long Island, a white flight town.
Dartmouth Street is mud season. Rats strut like rock stars
on broken sidewalks, rickety houses are bandaged in cardboard.
Daisy’s last night was a Friday in October—
not a Girl Scout night, she watched a Disney DVD
wearing her princess costume meant for Halloween.
A gang bullet meant for another shattered her living
room window and blew out her brains. At the top
of Dartmouth Street, wild daisies twist violently
in a wind made by cars speeding away to safety.
Vicki Iorio is the author of the poetry collections Poems from the Dirty Couch, Local Gems Press, Not Sorry, Alien Buddha Press and the chapbooks Send Me a Letter, dancinggirlpress and Something Fishy, Finishing Line Press. Her poetry has appeared in numerous print and on-line journals including The Painted Bride Quarterly, Rattle, poets respond on line, The Fem Lit Magazine, and The American Journal of Poetry. Vicki is currently living in Florida but her heart is in New York.