Three cuts I’ve gotten from the box knife’s blade,
and needlessly I wonder — will they heal?
as we remove debris for those who stayed.
My last guess in the word game is “unreal,”
for this is not the way my thinking goes,
and these are not the ruins of my nation,
with certainty — this rubble from the blows
of wind, these sheetrock walls, this insulation
so sodden still, the flood soaks through my shoes.
Again, I stanch these cuts’ re-welling blood.
My new, shamanic name should be “She-Whose-
I’m punching through, I’m kicking at the plaster.
My crewmen pity me, and interfere –
our common hope, to mitigate disaster.
No tear they’ll see, no outcry will they hear.
These walls of heavy paper we must gut
and haul away, with dust mask on, and glove
to insulate our fingers as they cut
a horizontal channel just above
my chest height, for removal — some are stained
by nursery murals, adding to the anguish
that not one wall evaded and remained.
Their hues, already muted, further languish.
Like skeletons of steel, the studs are shown
while kneeling women, wielding power drills,
evacuate the screws. Each sterling bone,
as we look out beneath our ball caps’ bills,
gleams glamorously. Flecks of silver glitter
cover me, from some child’s plaything burst
when Harvey made his landfall, drunk and bitter.
I think the guardian cherubim of glamour
must have a sense of humor, so to dress
me now in tinsel, gaudy and yet tender.
My demolition team persists to hammer
and hustle through the hallways, through the mess.
The angels sprinkle them, as well, with splendor.