Years ago, in school,
I swallowed a secret,

but it hasn’t settled well
on my stomach.
I am older now and
I’ve learned what indigestion is,
and now this secret
comes back up:

My heart has always
beat thunderstorms
instead of blood.

I am all whirled up now.
My cheeks are puffed up
and I cough up
craggy tree branches
and uprooted stop signs.

I walk into coffee shops
and all these startled people
look up from their lattes
to hear the shutters
smash in my gusts.

They scramble.
They are trying to stay dry,
trying to keep the rain out
of their cups

but I can’t stop myself —
I jerk umbrellas out
of the wrinkled hands
of old ladies,
I flood parking lots,
I topple garbage cans,
I blow down birdhouses
and scrape them down
the middle of Main Street.

My thunder was quiet once,
just a rumble,
just easy to swallow,
but I am booming now
and I make the windows rattle now.

I make the earth shake now.

I am severe now.

I am a red band on radar.
Tornado siren out my open mouth.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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