When the lightning lit our house
like a discotheque at 2:30 am, and I
changed the boy’s piss-soaked sheets
again, and you were dreaming,
time must have stopped. The clocks
flashed like red lights in remembrance
of the minutes they lost,
elegy to the current
that keeps the house alive at night,
that pumps air through vents,
water through humidifier,
spins ceiling fans
in predictable pattern, recycles
water through salt in well filter.
Maybe our lives froze for whole
intervals. Without our knowledge,
we may not have breathed,
like someone pulled the plug
on a life support machine.
First a gentle slowing,
then a flat line,
our bodies illuminated like fireflies.
APRIL SALZANO teaches college writing in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and two sons. She recently finished her first collection of poetry, for which she is seeking a publisher and is working on a memoir on raising a child with autism. Her work has appeared in journals such as Poetry Salzburg and Poetry Quarterly, and is forthcoming in Writing Tomorrow and Rattle. The author also serves as co-editor at Kind of a Hurricane Press.