The wind’s died down. The last stray wisps of cloud float overhead, teasing us with ciphers. Soon,
even these genies have dispersed, though somehow their shadows will continue to sail their
breakpoints over the downwarps of our hearts. We ache with light. Each shade’s autonomous and
wriggles in the creviced brain. The eyes delude themselves with depthless blue. The temperature
holds steady at seventy-five. You might mistake this place for California, a state where the seasons
have been swapped for movie sets and all the days go shining down a void. Snow machines and rain-
makers crowd the backlots. People don’t know what to make small-talk about, given the catastrophe
of empty skies. They discuss the traffic instead. And the whole economy goes on operating by
means of self-fulfilling forecasts of soft-fill light and cinematic sun against the thrumming backdrop
of a blue screen.
The stockholders have clouds in their heads. So the union calls a strike. Workers at the weather
factory fling sand in the gears—the sand from every hourglass. Great muscling plumes no longer
pour from billowing smokestacks. No scent of showers, no vaporish dew. No trucks depart from
the depot full of hail or sleet; nobody shakes the snowglobes; nothing agitates the barometric
moods. The afternoon’s as busy, as motionless as any hummingbird. Along inert conveyor belts,
dust floats down and coats the rows of sunlight trapped inside each bottle. The bigshots are
shattered that there’s no weather anymore.
In rundown towns, the factories still spill soot. People cling to pipedreams. Long rows of cars sit idle
at the lights. The air goes blurry with exhaust; its sweet-sick fragrance makes the distance swoon.
Rumbling engines turning, turning. The numbing churn of butterflies in China which make the
whole gray soup above us swelter—weather, like a piston at the heart of it, a fist that’s pumping—
through every bust and boom. And the earth burns burns burns with a fever, every lump of it,
almost bursting, almost doomed.