Two Poems

Dust Storm

Of course they call the circumference of debris descending over 
Phoenix a haboob, wrapping the city, and I would dream
that night of smothering you, as I'd read an article
the day before, cantering against night-sleeping
and the family bed, against the tuck and fuss against my arm,
and how that mother, a nurse, brought her baby to bed
from cribside and nodded off, her breast flapped
over windpipe. I read pathetic curled-covered paperbacks,
telling me family beds don't inspire incest or homosexuality, and think—
this isn't what I'm worried about, I'm worried about skin-flaps
and dust storms.  This might be why I brought you to our bed
in the first place, test your breath with mine, put my finger beneath your nose
and feel the haboob of you, put my palm and fingers along
the rise-and-fall and know you are still here. I hate acronyms
designed to frighten, SIDS and PCOS and rumpled still skin,
little men with no bother, tantrums thrown in cities of spun gold.


He notices the way the fifteenth floor
shivers in the wind-whip.  The window-wall
buckles, bleating censure.  Outside,
the last snow of the season whirs
like so many lungs.  We recite words of the ceiling:
eye, ghost, crow.  Last night, my daughter’s eruption
woke us all, scowling away from the bed, and in the morning,
we find ourselves parenthesis against her:  (◦).  
She cannot hook enough wrists and ankles
to my limbs; she has fished and caught 
all of me.  We shelter, snow cave, look out at the lake,
that long, bruised finger.

—Molly Sutton Kiefer, Red Wing, MN